Sunday, 5 July 2015

Coming Soon - "Famous Animals"

For those of you who haven’t heard, I have a new book coming out the next month or so anyway. Sorry, it’s not the sequel to Treespeaker (that’s still all inside my head), or even Larkspell, which has been patiently waiting to be finished for so long. No, this is a children’s book. Well, no, it isn’t really. It’s a history book. Well, no. it’s not really that either. It’s a book about animals. Er, well…it has pictures of animals. Sort of.

The above indecision about what the book actually is explains why I haven’t sent it to a ‘real’ publisher to try to get them to publish it. I just couldn’t think how to do it. How does one pitch a book that doesn’t fit anywhere? I couldn’t even tell you if it’s fiction or non-fiction. Librarians are just going to love it!

It all started with the 52-Week Illustration Challenge at the beginning of the year. The theme for the week was ‘Italy’. To me Italy screamed opera, so I decided to draw Pavarotti. However, I don’t really often manage to draw someone who actually looks like they’re supposed to. I prefer animals. Eventually, I hit on the idea of drawing a rat and calling him ‘Pavaratti’. When I’d finished, I realised that I could think of a whole lot of people whose names could be turned into animals. So I set to work and painted them. Soon I found I was thoroughly enjoying myself and making those I showed them to laugh. With the help of friends on the Kindle Users Forum, I made a long list of possible subjects. A book was born. “Famous Animals.” Not a very catchy title I suppose, but I wanted it to appear serious… but not.

In my dreams, the book would be a large coffee table book with just the high resolution pictures to keep adults and children alike amused. In reality, I can’t afford to print something like that without the cost to the customer being astronomical. Hence the confusion about what sort of book it is. Apart from each picture, there will be a short, hopefully witty comment about the animal persona, a short biography of the real person on whom they’re based and an interesting fact about the animal. So for Pavaratti, there will be something about Pavaratti, something about Pavarotti and something about rats.

Before I get it to the book launch which someone has kindly offered, there’ll be a series of adverts and hopefully a blog tour (thought that may come after). So expect to hear and see more of this in coming weeks. If I start to bore you, let me know?

By the way, I already have enough ideas for Famous Animals Volume 2 (Musicians), Volume 3 (Artists) and Volume 4 (Entertainers), so this could go on forever!


Ryan Sullivan said...

What a unique idea. I love that illustration on the front!

Kate said...

Thanks, Ryan. Did you recognise Felix Mendelsswan? :D

Ryan Sullivan said...

Haha! I didn't, but I can see it now! :D