New Year. Time to write something new, something fresh.
In January 1997, all fired up with thoughts of Spring, I came up with my ultimate green shoots picture book, Jody’s Beans. It was the first book I’d done with my dream publisher, Walker Books, and it’s still in print fifteen years later, in this dinky little Read and Discover edition. Around the time of publication, Judith Allibone, the illustrator, sent me a beautiful little bean bookmark, which I still use.
I’d a long gap then in terms of any picture book stories which I’d first-drafted in the month of January, coming to fruition. In January 2006, though, I wrote Albert and Sarah Jane, my first for QED, about a too-greedy dog, and a cat who decides to teach him a lesson. But what it’s really about is how lovely it is to have a great big cat-dog cuddle by the fire – very January, that.
In January 2008 I wrote Danny, the Duck with no Quack, also for QED. This one’s about a shy little duck, who wanders off in search of a tale to tell. New beginnings. Finding the courage to start again. Very January, that, too!
And in January 2010 I wrote Collywobble, which will be the first of my 2012 picture books. It’s about a wobbly little collie pup and it’s very much a winter’s tale. It’s published by Pont Books on February 14, and I’ll tell you more about it the next time I post here. Petra Brown, who I worked with on Granny Sarah and the Last Red Kite, has done the illustrations and they’re truly delightful.
So now it’s January 2012. Can I keep up my recently established record of biennial first-month picture books? I’m germinating one as we speak, working title Bob and Dog, but whether it comes to full picture-book fruition, only time will tell. There’s many a slip twixt keyboard and bookshelf, as they don’t say.
I hope that January brings you inspiration, a renewed sense of purpose, and heralds a year of happiness and fulfillment.