Having come over all moody and Nordic in my last post, it's now time for something completely different. Here's a shameless plug for my latest book, Jack's Tractor.
Jack's Tractor was actually published in June, but due to an administrative mix up my author copies went astray. This is mostly my fault for changing address so often in the last few years. I only hope that the lucky recipient has enough English-speaking friends (with children) to make the most of their windfall. Otherwise, they can always prop up the piano or line the guinea pig's cage.
Anyway, having cleared this up with the lovely people at Hodder Children's Books, I finally received twelve shiny new hardbacks last Friday, and as everyone who has ever had anything published knows, that moment is always at least a little exciting.
Jack's Tractor is a significant book for me. It's my first published text that has been illustrated by someone else. I have two others under contract now, and a third out on submission, but this is the first to reach the shelves. Not being the illustrator has been a strange experience, and I was quite seriously worried that I wouldn't like the illustration style. But I needn't have been concerned – John Kelly has done an excellent job, with a style not dissimilar to my own, but very different in technique and finish. I love the colours and the vibrancy, and my children love the pictures too, which is the acid test.
Ironically, this book was slow in the production because the illustrator had some trouble of a repetitive strain nature – as acknowledged in his dedication -- which is one of the problems I've had with my own illustration style. John, if you're reading this, I feel for you and hope yours was only a temporary difficulty. Not least because I'd like you to illustrate another of my books one day.