Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Next Big Thing! - A global blog tour.

I've been tagged by Jamie Michalak to take part in 'The Next big Thing' blog tour of children's books, which began in Australia. You can see Jamie's post here.

I will be writing about my latest book 'What Goes Up' published by Tiger Tales earlier this year.

Where did the idea for this book come from?
Martin the Dragon just seemed to appear out of nowhere in my sketchbook a few years ago. I don't know where he came from! But I liked him. And he made me laugh when I stuck him on a tricycle, and started to imagine his story from there. His name came from a friend of a friend who visited during a party and felt it suited him.

What genre does your book fall under?
Picture Books.

Which actors would star in a move rendition of your book?
My book has only once main character really - Martin the Dragon. He is a gentle, giant, rotund dragon who's not very smart, he always tries really hard but things don't always go the way he expected. He perseveres and finally gets the results he dreams of with some helps from his friends. 

I'm drawn between Nick Frost, Brian Blessed and Robbie Coltrane. But, I think Nick is a little on the short side, Brian is a bit too loud (Martin is a quiet fellow) so, I think I would cast Robbie Coltrane to play Martin! Especially as he naturally has some giant/dragon magic about him too ;-)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Martin the Dragon believes 'what goes up must come down', but luckily, the village's children know how to teach Martin to go up, and stay up.

Who published your book?
Tiger Tales

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I'm really not sure! It was quite a slow process, something I dipped in and out of over a couple of years. But I really sat down and wrote the full story over a couple of weeks once Tiger Tales commissioned it.

What other books would you compare this story to within your own genre?
I've never compared my books to others before, but I suppose it's about determination and help from friends. So perhaps, if readers like this theme, they could check out Catherine Rayner's 'Ernest' or maybe Farmyard Flyers by Mike Bostock.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Martin the Dragon appeared out of nowhere in my sketchbook, I'm not sure what inspired me to draw him! But my agent suggested trying him out on a tricycle and it made me laugh so the story developed from there. I guess the story could be inspired by my own attempts to succeed at certain challenges, and how much I value my own supportive friendships.

What else about this book might pique the reader’s interest?
Hmm, I just had a flick through the book, and remembered when I was drawing the page with Martin laying on his back, watching the clouds shaped like dragons in the sky.  A song came on the radio at that time - 'You're gonna make me lonesome when you go' by Bob Dylan. There's a lyric that stood out to me - 'Dragon clouds so high above'. It made me smile! And it's a good song!

And what is next after The Next Big Thing?
I'm currently working on my next book with Tiger Tales, USA, called 'Messy Jesse', about a scruffy dog who hates tidying up! 

I'm also working on my first book with Bloomsbury childrens' books in the UK, it's top secret, but I'm very excited about it!

Both are due to be published in 2014.

Next up, I'm tagging two talented Hannahs in Bristol! Hannah Cumming and Hannah Broadway.

Check out their blogs on 6th Sept!