My very first book, a project for me while The Caretaker of Imagination was with Jane, was a wordless book called What Stars Are Made Of. It told the story of a star-maker, who would take the fear, sorrow and anger from children and build them into a star.
The story was told through paintings, originally acrylic on paper. It met with an encouraging reception from my friends and family, as well as schools and libraries. As a side note, I’m not 100% happy with the production, so I will be doing a redesign and reprint, hopefully within the next year.
The series I’m working on now is connected to the Caretaker Series, and it’s called the New World Series because – surprise, surprise – it’s set the the ‘new world’ that Lucy, Jess and Simon explore in Beyond the End of the World. I have book one’s cover sorted, and book two just has a mock up. It might change a little, it might change a lot.
Book one is very similar to the Caretaker Series: it’s about the same length, a similar style of writing (though I’ve noticed my style changes depending on the protagonist), and about the same readership.
Book two is different. The protagonist, Sophie, is dealing with some really big problems – including a council of near-immortals who think it’s time for the Universe to die. Fortunately, the Universe isn’t ready to die, and it ‘speaks’ with Sophie to try and deal with this council. I had been trying to figure out a way for the Universe, essentially a collective voice, to speak to Sophie and I realised the most fitting method would be through song.
Once I’d decided that, I thought that having verse and illustrations would be a wonderful way to tell a story. After all, I visualise the story in my head before I write it. Words don’t come easy to me – pictures do.