Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Through the Gate

Here is my latest picture book due for release 1st May 2017. 

'Through the Gate' tells the story of a child who has just moved house and is struggling to cope with all the changes in her life. She relates to the dilapidated house she has moved to, as she sits sad and forlorn upon its broken front step.  But, as the story unfolds, the house is gradually repaired paralleling how the child’s perception of her new situation improves. Each time the child passes ‘through the gate’, into the world beyond, she notices more of her surroundings and discovers that her new life has some wonderful things in it.
Within the illustrations is a ‘spot the difference’ game that encourages interaction with the story and develops observation skills. Younger children can be involved in spotting the more obvious changes and older children will be challenged with the more subtle transformations.

For more information and to buy the book click here.     BUY BOOK

Monday, 23 January 2017


There were so many wonderful entries for my book give-away on the 52 Week Illustration Challenge. Here is the TOP TEN Shortlist ...


And the winners are Tash Farrar and Tawnya Boe!!!!!!  So GORGEOUS!!!!
Tash Farrar
Tawnya Boe

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

My Art Process

I love looking at artists work in progress pics and reading about their process, so I thought I'd share the making of my latest piece.

I use Arches hot pressed paper.  This piece is A3 300gsm

First I sketched my idea and outlined in micron fine-liner 005.

Step 1

Next I painted masking fluid over the image.  Then I wet the page and brushed, dabbed, dripped on some liquid ink.

Step 2

Then I rubbed off the masking fluid and added more colour with inktense pencils.  I add water in small sections and often do multiple layers of colour, waiting for it to dry between layers.

Step 3

Now all the base colour is down I like to add a bit of detail and definition with pencil.  I use prismacolour pencils.  It doesn't make a huge difference but I think it just finishes it off nicely.

Then sometimes I like to have a play in photoshop.  This time I added words.  Not sure I've put them in the best position, but that's the beauty of Photoshop, I can change it so easily!


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Path to Publication

Before I received my first publishing contract I used to google stories about authors’ paths to publication.  I found it very motivating to read success stories, so, now I have my own contract, I would like to share my story.

I always wanted to be an author, but for some reason--I don't know why--I never thought I could do it.  I studied primary school teaching--which I loved.  I wrote little rhymes and stories to use in my own classroom, but didn’t do much towards becoming a writer until I had three children and was on parental leave from my teaching job.

At age 38, I signed up for an online picture book writing course and googled everything I could find on how to write picture books.  A lot of what I read was quite disheartening as it seemed many people attempted to become published without success.  I decided to focus on the fact that SOME do get published and I was going to be one of them.  I was NOT going to give up!

I started sending out manuscripts and receiving rejections, but then one day I received an email from EK Books publisher, Anouska Jones.  She had read my manuscript and loved it!!!!  I could barely breathe for excitement and called my best friend before I even finished reading the email!

Then came the waiting…My manuscript had to pass through a few meetings before I would get a contract.  It got the thumbs up at the first and I was thrilled…then more waiting.  I was creatively frozen with the excitement and I couldn’t write anything new.  I just waited and day-dreamed about being published and celebrating my book launch. J

I then received a lovely, very kind, phone call to let me know that my manuscript was not chosen.  I was standing outside the school gates with my toddler.  When I hung up I cried ... then I realised that this was still great.  I could now directly send manuscripts to a publisher and I had the validation that my writing was good.  I had been unfrozen.  I set off to write a better manuscript…and I did!

My next manuscript started going through the meetings and I was waiting again--I became very good at waiting.  But this time I was not frozen.  While I waited I kept writing and the ideas kept coming.  I got a great idea!  I don’t remember where I was or how I got it.  It was for a book about shapes.  I then did something I had read many times NOT to do—I wrote it in rhyme!  Then I committed another no-no—I made a dummy and illustrated it myself!  I asked if it was ok to send this rhyming dummy and then I crossed my fingers and posted it.

Anouska (EK Books) loved it and took it to a meeting.  It was this rhyming dummy that eventually got me over the line. Eight months later I received a contract!!!!  Woo Hoo!! And even better I was asked to illustrate it too!!!!

So here I am now, 40 years old, with a contract in my pocket and a pencil in my hand, illustrating my first picture book!


So my advice to aspiring authors is GO FOR IT! Never give up, keep learning and treat each rejection as a step closer. And develop your ability to be patient!  Good Luck!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Exciting News!

...So let's celebrate! But just in little moments, between drawing the illustrations to my first picture book!  I think it is only just sinking in now :-)