Monday, September 12, 2016

But what is the best, a full box or an empty box...?

Boxes - the theme of my newest book, but it's not the book I sat down to write, more months ago than I'm prepared to admit... and what do I mean by that? Well simply that this book took longer to write than my average book, especially given that it's a 32 page picture book. But some things just take as long as they take, and why does everything have to be instant anyway...?

So, I'm rambling, because that's what I've chosen to do right now, because I believe that the imagination has to be allowed to meander about a bit if we want true magic to happen.

But where was I? Ah yes, my new book - the book I didn't sit down to write... well technically I sat down to illustrate a book from a story that I'd already written, but the pictures just weren't coming, they didn't look the way they looked in my head, so I started to doodle (the theme of another set of books...) and so I randomly started to draw giraffes, based on nothing more solid that the fact that I'd seen some giraffes at a safari park and thought they were really cool, especially when they tried to bend down to graze, and the their legs were too long, or their neck too short, or some such design fault... anyway, giraffes were in my head that day.

The story was born out of anarchy, in that I stated it in a sketchbook, and just drew loads of pictures of giraffes, and a little boy who was to become Ollie. The story ideas seemed to change daily, leading to some pictures that never made it out of the sketchbook, such as a giraffe playing hide and seek behind a curtain, although the idea of him being hidden behind fabric came out as he held up a sheet  - you'll have to read the book to find out why...

So where did boxes come into it? Well apart from boxes being so much fun, with so many possibilities, I suppose if inspiration comes from all around, then I don't have to look far to see boxes, they're everywhere, in fact they usually form the mobile island that I always said I didn't want in my kitchen - why, because I like space instead of things in the way, but now there is an ever present mobile island, a raft you might call it, of boxes that can't be thrown away because they're the cats' dens, doubling up as beds when cat baskets are just not what they want right now...

But what is the best, a full box or an empty box...?

Well the rather depends on the contents - a full box is full of possibilities, especially if it's a plain box and we're guessing at its contents.  Some boxes can be a disappointment once they're open, we see what's inside, and maybe it's not as exciting as what we'd imagined. So maybe our own imaginations are the best toys of all, an empty box is so much more fun than a box full of something dull, because an empty box really can be anything. 

So now all I have to do is launch my new book - I'll be doing the usual round of book signings, but really I want to do most of the launch online, selling from

And for that I need some suitable packaging, and what better than bright orange envelopes - because I want my books to arrive in style and make a statement.  


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