But last weekend at the Perth Writers Festival, I met the maker of Mr Curly and of many things duckish and otherly delightful – Michael Leunig. I’ve made no secret of the fact that the original inspiration for Duck for a Day came from an interview Leunig did with Andrew Denton, but beyond that, I’ve been a long-time fan of Leunig’s work, which my father shared with me from a very early age. The corkboard above this very desk is dotted with tattered Leunig cartoons, snipped from newspapers here and there over the years.
The length of time between this post and the last represents how long it took me to recover from Book Week. Two weeks? Not too bad, I think, given that I had a solid ten days of work, a husband overseas, a sick dog, a daughter turning eleven, and two copyediting deadlines smack bang in the middle.
It was an energising, exhausting and above all, fun week (or two, in the case of some libraries). We talked about images and broken bones and the dangers of too much cotton wool around kids. And ducks. We talked about the way a duck seems to be insinuating itself into everything I write at the moment. After some gnashing of teeth, I have decided not to fight it. When the duck calls your name, it’s a good idea to follow it. In the words of the incomparable Michael Leunig, “I think a nation is in trouble that cannot accept a duck.” Watch this space for some duck-related books hopefully coming your way in the next year or so.