Over the past few weeks I've been into a few schools where children and teachers have asked how much influence I have on the illustrations for my books... the simple answer is 'not a lot'. This isn't always a bad thing though...
I'm not great at drawing so certainly wouldn't attempt to illustrate my own books but that means that I get to work with lots of really good illustrators. Generally, I try not to picture characters in too much detail in my mind - I think it's good to see what the illustrators come up with. (This probably isn't the case with all books of course as sometimes you do want things to look a certain way - especially if it's important to the story).
I love seeing stories brought to life by the illustrations and it's always interesting to see illustrations in progress like the ones below.
Have you ever wondered what happens to your socks after you take them off? You always end up with odd ones don't you... well, this strange little creature that Yan has just found beneath his bed is a Sock Eater. I didn't know what a Sock Eater looked like before - but now I do.
The two pictures above (and the one below) are for two little stories that I wrote earlier this year for Oxford University Press - Nelly's Nest and The Sock Eater. The stories are going to be published together in a book for OUP's Treetops series called Smelly Socks and Terrible Tangles.
The artwork is being done by a Dutch illustrator called Marijke van Veldhoven (click HERE to go and take a look at her website). It has been great to see the first sketches that she has done for the book, and wonderful that she has allowed me to show them to you here. Later on I will feature a little interview with the illustrator and I will also include some colouring sheets on my website that you can download.