Posts Tagged 'books'

Bookstore Paparazzi

[Please read with your best David Attenborough voice…] Armed with camera, carrots and a sense of adventure, on Monday we headed out into the wilds of Brisbane suburbia in search of our first glimpse of Squish Rabbit. The book was said to have been released into the bookstore savanna just that morning, however there had been rumoured sightings for several days prior.

A notoriously shy creature, Squish Rabbit is best approached with reading glasses and a gentle hand. If having trouble tracking him down, try asking your local bookstore or librarian, as they are well trained in the art of literary rabbit spotting. As a last resort, attempt the tried and true trail of carrots. On this day we were in luck, as we managed to track the wily rabbit to our local bookstore: Black Cat Books. And for a typically nervous creature, Squish seemed to quite enjoy the paparazzi attention…

I also had a box of books arrive from both publishers on the same day, and now have a veritable fountain of rabbits in my home. If they keep multiplying (as rabbits tend to do) I may have to start putting them to good use around the house. One on the bookshelf of course. Several as matching drink coasters. One to entertain the dog. Hang one on the wall as a postmodern art work. One beneath the outdoor table leg to stop it rocking. Two as ironic book ends. Any other ideas..?

Front window display in Black Cat Books

The countdown is now on for the launch. Only two days to go…

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Rabbity Book Launch

As of yesterday, Squish Rabbit is now officially in Australian stores! Only a few days now until the Brisbane book launch, which will be held at the glorious Black Cat Books in Paddington. Please join us if you can.

There may even be an appearance from a little furry friend…

(click on the image to see a larger version of the invite)

Print Proofs

Squish can be a wily little rabbit. He’s hoppity and excitable. Hard to get a hold of. From the very beginning he was tough to pin to the page – it took me several years to do just that. So I wasn’t surprised when, after my publisher sent him on his first trip to me through the post, he went missing.

We’re not really sure what happened. Maybe he got lost. Maybe he got distracted. Maybe he hopped off on a detour through Fiji – even a mini rabbit can harbor secret desires for sun and surf (and cocktails). Rumour actually has it he got held up in customs.

Anyway, after a long wait Squish Rabbit finally arrived:

My first printed page proofs. These are a set of unbound prints of all the pages that will make up the picture book. As a writer it’s important to look over the layout of the text and check for any typos. As an illustrator it’s vital to ensure all the colours have printed the way you hoped and that there are no glitches in the images.

Holding the proofs is wonderfully surreal. A few years back this strange little rabbit lived purely in the warren of my mind. But it’s all starting to feel real now. There was even a sighting of him online (thanks Maddy!). And with a printed version it’s really starting to look like a proper book. Fun times…

Sneak Peek

Here’s the first sneaky-rabbity-peek of the cover of my picture book. My wonderful art director did a brilliant job in suggesting a background colour, which makes Squish just pop out of the page. Love it. Viking recently sent the digital page proofs of the final layout my way for approval and the book is now at the printers. I should get the first printed page proofs in the next few months. Exciting times. Still a while until release though, but I can now officially say that Squish Rabbit will be in bookstores on the 4th August 2011…

Squish Cupcakes

How is it that friends always know when you need a pick me up? On the way back from the Whitsunday Voices festival I stopped through Brisbane, my old home town. Not only was I exhausted from several days of speaking (I had a talk on the Gold Coast after the festival also), but I was starting to get sick and being back in Brisbane made me realise how home sick I was too. Even so, I was really looking forward to catching up with my writing girls (all our token males were off doing other things).

Back LtoR: Chris Bongers, Lynn Priestley, Sheryl Gwyther, Julie Nickerson, Angela Sunde. Front: Belinda Jeffrey, me, Kathleen Noud - Tina Marie Clark was also there

It was a pretty normal kind of lunch – catching up, writing gossip, bubbles and laughs – until half way through when they blindfolded me. I wasn’t exactly sure where things would go from there. There’d been threats of hens night style entertainment having been organised. Luckily it was a more palatable surprise:

Squish Rabbit cupcakes! (not to be confused with squished rabbit cupcakes) The lovely Lynn Priestley organised it all, from the cupcake cooking to the pink floral wrapping. She also made some special ones for Sheryl Gwyther’s latest book, which we were also celebrating. And they didn’t just look good, they tasted good too…

Illustration Workshop

At this year’s Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival I’ll be doing a series of talks for all different ages. I’m super excited, as getting the chance to connect with my audience is easily one of the most joyous parts of being a children’s writer and illustrator.

I’ll be doing several book talks with grades 2-5, where I’ll discuss the role of author / illustrator, read Squish Rabbit and talk about how the story and characters developed. I’ll also read my story Monster Music, teach the kids how to draw some of the characters and together we’ll create our own monster. Can’t wait to see the results!

I’ll also be doing a series of illustration workshops with grades 5-8 and 9-12, for those specifically interested in art. In these I’ll read my short story Haunted (from the anthology Short and Scary) and discuss how an illustrator would go about illustrating such a tale. Together we’ll then illustrate a single scene from the story, using collage and mixed media. We’ll also be making our own textured paper, using paint, oil pastels and certain tools. Yesterday I had a go at making the scene myself, which you can see below. There were some happy accidents, like the trees’ canopy – I had intended to keep the image limited to the rectangular canvas, but before folding back the overhanging trees I realised I quite liked them the way they were. I also figured out a few tricks in speeding up the whole process, and even discovered how not to do certain bits…

It should be fun. Kids are so creative, and I love hearing all their big ideas. I also know high school artists are incredibly talented, and am fully prepared for many of them to be better at drawing than me!

PS. The competition in the last post is still open, so remember to comment if you want a chance to win…

Competition Time!

This July I’ve been invited back to the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival, which is held in tropical Mackay (north Queensland), my old home town. I’ll be doing a series of book talks and illustration workshops, along with a number of other wonderful authors and illustrators. I had such a fabulous time at last year’s festival and am thrilled I’ll get to be involved again.

Unfortunately Squish Rabbit will not quite be published in time for the festival, so instead I’ve created a series of postcards and bookmarks featuring my characters. They’ll be for sale through the festival bookshop.

COMPETITION: For your chance to win a signed copy of one of my postcards and bookmarks just leave a comment on this post, telling me which ones you’d choose if you won. Once I return from the festival (21st July) I’ll draw a winner out of a hat and announce it in the comment thread. Make sure I have some way of contacting you in case you win!

22/07/10 UPDATE: Thanks for all who entered and said such lovely, supportive things. I decided to draw three winners, and they are – Lynne the Lurker, Meg McKinlay and Susan Bonaci. I drew the winning names using an online random number generator (I wrote a few names out on pieces of paper, wanting to stay true to my above promise to draw the names from a hat, before giving up – clearly I’m too impatient). In a strange twist of fate, each person chose a different character. I’ll contact you each individually to find out where to send your prize…


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:

Available:

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