News from 2012

The Next Big Thing - Blog Chain

December 2012

The Next Big Thing - Blog Chain


Blog Chain


So here I am – just one little link in a blog chain of fabulous authors and author/illustrators called The Awfully Big Blog Adventure and we are all talking about The Next Big Thing ie. What we’re working on now!

I was invited by Kathryn White, author of the wonderful Ruby series from Barefoot Books – Ruby’s School Walk and Ruby’s Sleepover are brilliant! See more on her website

And so what’s happening with me?


What is the title of your next book?

Mimi and Miranda’s African Paintbox

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Mimi, a native African girl teaches her friend, Miranda, a white girl and outsider, how to make paint from plants, rocks, fruits and other things and they paint EVERYTHING! What will Miranda’s parents say? What will happen when the rains come? A celebration of natural creativity and African colour.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

This idea came from a true story from my childhood. I was taught by my friend, a native African girl how to make paint and how to paint simply, confidently and boldly onto the dry earth and tree trunks and rocks and walls with a true African palette. I still paint like this now.

What genre does your book fall under?

Cultural diversity, but also picture books for young children and slightly older as it is a fun, bright picture book with a twist at the end.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Do you know – I just don’t know any 8 year old child actors? Any suggestions folks?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am currently looking for an agent – my previous books were published by Boxer Books – this title will be with another publisher.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Hardly any time at all – however the text has been revised possibly four times – and of course will benefit from editing. I find the illustrations easier and I think they are looking good so far.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

There are loads of cultural diversity books around – but I think you can’t beat the classic Handa’s Surprise and Handa’s Hen by Eileen Browne  She’s also a mine of information on cultural diversity books and has been really helpful to me.

If Mimi and Miranda could be as good as the Handa books, that would be brilliant!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

That’s easy – my childhood friendship with an African girl.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Well I must say that with all my books, the art comes first – then the lyrical writing.

So I am hopeful that every spread will be a feast for the eyes – that’s how I have approached my previous books.

However, I have had loads of interest from librarians and teachers and booksellers for this title and perhaps that simply comes from the cultural diversity appeal of the story as well as the art.

If you’d like to know more


So now I tag my next author(s)/illustrator(s) who will continue blogging on the theme of THE NEXT BIG THING and pass them into your care!

Look out on the 2nd January for:

The fabulously talented Jo Lodge, author/ illustrator and paper engineer extroadinaire! She’s responsible for loads of excellent books for young children, but is best known for her Mr.Croc books, published by Hodder – my favourite is Ready To Rock, Mr. Croc! See loads more at

Keep following and enjoy!



Wokingham Arts Trail

September 2012

Wokingham Arts Trail

I am once again opening my garden and studio for the Wokingham Arts Trail on September 15th & 16th.

Visit the Arts Trail website for more information.

Wokingham Arts Trail Wokingham Arts Trail Wokingham Arts Trail

Spooky Spooky Spooky - board book

August 2012

Spooky Spooky Spooky - board book Spooky Spooky Spooky - board book

COMING SOON! A lovely little board book edition of 'Spooky Spooky Spooky'. Published September 4th 2012 by Boxer Books.

V&A Illustration Awards

May 2012

V&A Illustration Awards

'Bunny Bunny Catkin' has been shortlisted in the Book Illustration category of the V&A Illustration Awards 2012. The awards, established in 1972, have previously been won by Quentin Blake amongst others.

For more information read the full press release.

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