This is a weekly series of guest posts on How Writers Work. This week, children’s author and illustrator Peter Carnavas gives us an insight into his writing and illustrating life.
1. How you got your first book published?
I had always made little picture books for family but never thought of taking it seriously until I completed a picture book course with Dr Virginia Lowe. The course taught me a lot about the art of picture books and culminated in a mock-up of my first book, Jessica’s Box, which was subsequently published by New Frontier a little while later. It was a really enjoyable process, a time in which I buried myself in picture books and discovered some of my favourite authors and illustrators.
2. What is your writing routine?
Routine isn’t a word that applies in our house. My wife and I work around our two young daughters and just give each other time throughout the day to do our work – I draw little pictures of people and ducks while she writes her honours thesis. I think I got the better deal. I tend to do a lot of my work at night, a habit I haven’t been able to shake since my uni days.
My writing space – referred to rather eloquently in our household as The Drawing Room, simply because that’s where I draw – is rarely tidy but always cosy. I don’t share it with any other humans but my dog is usually at my feet. There’s also a pile of instruments growing in the corner behind me – guitars, violins, mandolin, bouzouki, piano accordion. I’m threatening to play the accordion at my next book launch.
4. What is your latest book or WIP
My new book is called The Great Expedition. It is a playful book about a group of brave young explorers crossing wild country to deliver a valuable parcel, although the illustrations reveal a band of little kids crossing a playground to give a present to Grandma. So it’s a play between words and pictures – dramatic text with playful illustrations. I had a lot of fun making it and recently had a ball reading my advance copy to some schools.