Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!!

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

  Although to be honest you could be forgiven for just shutting the door on 2016 & not peeking out at next year until you're quite certain that it's not knocking off any of your favourite Pop stars, Actors or just generally f*****g with your brain. Lets face it, 2016 started badly & never really got off the floor. Indeed, it may be we look back on this year & in some kind of context we might see it as the year we had to have before we all realised we can't just keep going on the same as we always have, that collectively we need to change & agree to change for the better.
 On a personal level, I will always hate 2016 for taking David Bowie & not bringing him back in some new guise as the man himself would have undoubtedly done. I've been a Bowie fan since my teen years where I & many of my peers saw ourselves on stage there, lightening striked, thin & white or just generally rebelling as teenagers should do. & whilst struggling with this cruel blow that struck me to my inner teenage core my family & I were dealing with the builder from hell.
  Yes, for us the dire black clouds of 2016 started creeping across the horizon way back in Sept 2015 when we undertook to lift our little cottage from single to double height. From then to now has been a painful & frustrating journey, dealing with a builder that considered bullying, bad workmanship & ineptitude to be just what we required. I won't bore you with the details or the many anecdotes I could lay out against this man, however, if you are on the lookout for a Master Builder in Victoria, Australia, I absolutely could NOT recommend Darren Page of Frankston. Right there, is one I would gladly swap for David Bowie or Alan Rickman, if you're listening 2016, it's still not too late to redeem yourself.

  Despite all the gloominess that would have been right at home in a Morrissey song, there were some lancing blooms of sunlight. I was most fortunate to work with Claire Saxby, Kimberley Bennett & Random House on Wild Pa. A great romp with a not so old at heart Grandpa & Grandson.

video

 Also the great team at Little Tigger Press, Eleanor Farmer, Kate Warren on Paws McDraw, my U.K. debut picture book. A fine tale if you can bear the cupcakes.

video

This year also saw me signing with Jodie Hodges at United Agents, U.K & Danielle Smith at Lupine Grove Creative, U.S Looking forward to working with both Jodie & Danielle on some exciting titles coming over the next few years.

  I've also been super lucky to have been offered some exciting but for now secret opportunities, which I hope to share more with you as & when I can. & lastly, I'd like to thank all of you for staying with me through this crazy year, before & beyond. I am very lucky to get to do the thing I love doing & it's through your support that we, meaning me & the great, creative, nourishing, wonderful people I work with, get to make the books we make...

           So Thank You & Merry Christmas Eve Eve.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Happy Valentines!

There's This Thing


Published By Philomel Books.
Penguin Random House.

One Little Girl Would Love Nothing More Than To Share Her Heart With Another.

Read this perfect review by the Design Of The Picture Books Carter Higgins here 








& have yourselves a magical Valentines.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Let's be Frank!

 Although Christmas seems so far away now I probably should not let it go without recording the wonderful time I had at the Waterstones Christmas Party, Gowers St, London. It was a lovely event to be a part of in such an amazing building, with so many floors, each floor a plethora of nooks & crannies.
 I got to meet some lovely fellow authors to chat away the nervs & the staff made us all feel special with helpful doses of mulled wine & the like. 


All of which made for a fab night of chat & signing.



But this moment probably stole the night! The amazing @MingmaCat & her super-cute Frank! plushy arriving on scene. Isn't he just the best.  & for those who are wondering, denim shirts were not de rigueur for the night just a happy accident.



Super special thanks to Jennifer Krebbs, my UK publicist (Perseus), for all the behind the scenes organising with Waterstones. It was also lovely of Jennifer to come along & be jolly good company for the night.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Frank! Activities.


Please feel free to download & colour Frank & The Giant Zombie Lizard King. 
Right click or control click to download.







Make sure Frank is on time by helping him get to school, you'll be a-mazed if you get him there on time : )



Have fun!





Monday, September 15, 2014

Frank!

So, with just a couple of weeks before Frank! has his official launch, here are a few items of news to wet you appetites.


Frank! takes GOLD at the Mom's Choice Awards *air punch* *checks no one is watching*
Thanks to all involved for choosing Frank! for Best Children's Picture Book.


I've uploaded a Book Trailer for Frank! over on my Vimeo Page & YouTube Channel Go say hello & meet Frank & special guest.

Congratulations to Wendy Greenley of Blue Bell, PA, the winner of the Signed Book Giveaway through Elizabeth O. Dulemba Blog. Big thanks to Elizabeth for such a fantastic review.
 Frank is winging his way to you Wendy, keep an eye on him though, as he's easily distracted : )


If you happen to be in or around The British Library, pop into the Book Shop & say hello...


Many thanks to Rob Biddulph, who's fine book Blown Away sits centre stage. Honoured to be hanging with such great Picture Books.
If you are looking for a copy of Frank! , please go ask in you local Book Shop/Book Store, it's super important that we support our local shops, so hunt one down & go ask for a copy. 
It would be lovely to see the variety of book shops you find Frank! at; so take a selfie with Frank! & tag me Connah Brecon on twitter or instagram with the #Frank!InTheHouse hashtag I'll repost the best shots.




Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lucy Frost Is Lost - Part II

So here we go with the spreads, starting at page 3

















So,  in the last post I eluded to a 'switch-up', which is the fact that we don't see the real Lucy Frost until the end of the story. We assume Lucy is the elephant, which of course she is, in disguise, but she doesn't get lost through the story, so what are we referring to here? The characters are so absorbed in their fantasy costume play that they forget who is who inside the costumes.
  This is not the main driver in this story though, what we see is Lucy consistently being left out of or feeling unable to join in the activities with the others, until she draws attention to the fact that 'Lucy' is lost & from there she controls all that transpires. Yes, this win is built on a subterfuge but as you know "if you can't join them, beat them"

  As promised, I'll keep you up to date with the process & what transpires from here. The spreads have been compiled into a PDF & sent off to my agents for comments & feedback, which I'll also keep you aware of as they come in. 

 Even though there undoubtedly will be changes to make I need to start thinking about the colour palette & style for this project. It's always a good idea to start this process as early as possible, while you have that initial huge burst of energy for the idea. & given that there will be changes made to either the story, characters or even stylistically, know that you can only ever improve on the art. So don't be scared, I think that's what I'm trying to get out.


So here we are colouring up a sample spread, clearly unfinished & in a state of flux. & below a quick video of my process from scanned image to coloured up character. For a better look pop on over to my youtube channel.




                                          video
















Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lucy Frost Is Lost or How some stuff comes together to make a Picture Book.

OK. So those of you who follow me on twitter or instagram, will have noticed over the last couple of days that I've been posting spreads from a new Picture Book concept. This is something I've been meaning to do for a while now but I tend to get carried away & before you know it  the moment has gone.

  This is not by any means a way for me to drum up interest in a book concept but more as a diary of the journey from idea to finished art. How this particular concept came about & my very unregimented way of working. This query comes up quite a lot both in & out of publishing circles, 'how do you get an idea?   'what happens next?   'how do you make the book?  'how long does it take?
 
 So this time we'll do it before we reach a point of no return...


This book concept came straight out of a line that popped into my head 'Lucy Frost Is Lost'. At the time I was at my desk & had just been sketching out a character to paint up & send to a friend as part of an art swap. So here was this line of words & here was this character sitting in front of me. Now, PB (picture book), ideas never follow the same pattern in the way they come about or even the manner in which they evolve but when it happens this way, there is always a lot of initial energy. Think of it like colliding atoms. So, in this instance it was what has turned out to be the title & the main character. BANG!

I should point out that as I speak the script is unfinished, the thumbnails are incomplete & this could all turn out to be a great load of pants (rubbish). & that does happen, quite a lot in fact. Some ideas just never fly. It's all a gamble but if you don't try, well...

So, without further ado, I am pleased to introduce you to Lucy Frost


& as a way of showing you how unstructured I am here are the current incomplete thumbnail sketches


& for those of you who are going to ask, no, I don't usually work in red pencil. It happened to be at hand when I sketched Lucy & I stuck with it as you'll see with the full scale spreads. Switching up your tools of choice is a great way for allowing yourself a fresh perspective on how you work. & in any case, what's not to like about red.

 In the next post I'll talk about the second trigger that helped kick this script off, switching up perspectives.

 If you'd like to watch the spreads appear in real time please do hop on over to my twitter or instagram accounts.