So I know what you’re thinking …
Thank goodness the rhinoceros is launched. Thank goodness the tour is over. Thank goodness we don’t have to see any more ‘arty’ photos of the book by the beach, or in a boat, or framed weirdly by random sticks. Thank goodness we don’t have to humour any more of Meg’s crazed attempts to draw rhinoceroses in tutus/jumpers/both at once.
Maybe she’ll go back to her cave now and stop shouting LOOK! MY BOOK!
Yes, well. About that.
There’s a little more shouting to come, my friends. Because if September was rhinos, then October is:
this guy …
and this guy …
It’s this book …
Drawn Onward, a picture book for older readers, which is utterly and absolutely unlike anything I’ve ever done before, is out now from Fremantle Press. Drawn Onward is a palindromic exploration of shifting perspective and the power of the inner voice, with the text taking readers from the glass half-empty:
There is no light on the horizon and it is foolish to think you can change anything at all
to the glass half full:
Don’t get it? You’ll have to read it. Honestly, given my complete lack of spatial intelligence I’m still not quite sure I get it myself!
When I wrote this, it was a neat little conceptual challenge, but I knew it would never be a book. I knew that it was both unpublishable and unillustratable. But for some reason I eventually hauled it out of a drawer and sent it to Fremantle Press, with the following winning pitch:
Fremantle Press being Fremantle Press, with their trademark out-of-the-box thinking, said they were “keen to discuss”, to which I replied, “Blimey! Okay, then.” And the rest is history.
Actually, the rest is them finding Andrew Frazer, who had never illustrated a book before, and saying, “What do you reckon?” and him, having absolutely no idea that this was clearly unillustratable, going ahead and illustrating it anyway, with stunning results.
Drawn Onward will be officially launched at events in Bunbury this Saturday 7 October, and in Perth on Wednesday 8 November. In the meantime, Andrew and I have been travelling around to bookshops hither and yon – him working hard on window installations and me swanning in at the last moment for a photo op. And both of us being delighted to hear booksellers raving about the book and adding large and luminous stacks to their front counters.