Archive for February, 2012

Stop Motion Animation-ing

It’s now official. There is a second book in the Squish Rabbit series. The files have all been sent to the printers. As we speak I’m awaiting the first unbound print proofs from my publisher. Somewhere in the last few months my second book even found itself a name…

Brave Squish Rabbit will be released in September this year.

And there was much rejoicing (mainly from those close to me who are likely sick of me in stressed illustrator mode, where I spend a lot of time doubting myself, eating cereal and not sleeping). The National Library of Australia is the first to have it up on their site, with a hilarious description that goes something like:

Squish, a little rabbit who is afraid of nearly everything, ventures into the night during a storm to find his friend, Twitch, who he fears may have encountered chickens.

With a new book comes the need for a new book trailer, so I’ve been toying with a few ideas. For my first book I learnt an entire new animation and editing program in order to make the trailer, and it took a good month of experimenting to create something I was happy with. You can see the product below, which has just passed 2,500 hits on YouTube:

Not one to make it easy for myself, I really want to do something different for book two. Inspired by a few clips I’ve seen recently I decided to try my hand at stop motion animation. I’ve had to do a bunch of research in trying to determine the best program to use, and have just downloaded a trial version of iStopMotion. This morning I had a go at making my very first halting and oh-so-very-B-grade stop motion video.

I’m still not sure how I’ll make the book trailer in the end (my aching back votes a firm ‘no’ to stop motion) but feel free to check out my attempt below:

I used a funky freeware tune composed by Mike Vekris (I think I was referencing some Peter Gabriel-style Sledgehammering)

Stay tuned to see how it all evolves…

Romancing the Stars

Happy (late) Valentine’s day! Happy day of romance and flowers and winged little fat men toting arrows. Or as wiki would have it, happy commemoration of love and affection between intimate companions (now doesn’t that sound exciting?). So how did I spend this romantic day of days?

I spent it speed dating librarians*.

Yup, you read that right. Last night Book Links, an active QLD group that promotes a love of stories in young people, threw an event called ‘Romancing the Stars’. It was all about Australia’s National Year of Reading 2012 and our Queensland ambassador, Nick Earls, launched it with his usual humour and charm. The Big Read was also launched, an initiative that celebrates books set in Queensland, and the shortlist was announced. You can see all the awesome books chosen and vote for your favourites here (go on – you know you want to). Josie Montano did a hilarious job as MC for the night and the Sunde sisters did a surprise singing skit (clever and so funny).

All the authors and illustrators

It was a great chance for local children’s writers and illustrators to connect with teachers, librarians and fellow book lovers. Hence the speed dating. All the authors sat at tables across the room and guests rotated around them, with three minutes to talk to each creator. It was a pretty lighthearted and fun night, and I met (dated) some truly inspirational teacher librarians. I didn’t give my number out to anyone (I’m not that sort of girl, at least not on first dates) but a few people took down my website and I’ve already had some enquiries about school talks.

Pick the picture book authors Vs the serious novelists

Chris Bongers, me and Julie Nickerson

Hope everyone else had a romantic (if not bookish) kind of Valentine’s Day!

* With my reputation as a tragic romantic on the line, I thought I’d best confess that apart from this event I actually spent the day with my lovely poet. Think breakfast in bed, a French feast and a little late night Casablanca

About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:


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