Little Black Bugs (also known as Jane Thorne, illustrator)

A to Z Challenge, Illustration

My illustrator hasn’t always been an illustrator. Mostly, she’s a painter, and she paints… bugs!


Her studio is home to a fantastic collection of insects (well, photographs of the insects) and her paintings bring these little guys into the limelight. I’m always amazed at how human, and full of character, her paintings are.

Jane has illustrated one book before, which was about the other kind of bugs – germs! Apart from that, The Caretaker of Imagination was her first one. Since then, she’s illustrated This Is My Life, a children’s picture book by Anne Vrankovich (out soon!) and of course, Lucy’s Story: The End of the World, which will be released in May / June (NZ Winter).

To see more of Jane Thorne’s beautiful artwork, go to her website:

Jess the Pirate

A to Z Challenge, Illustration, The Caretaker of Imagination

Jess is one character who is actually based on someone I know. The real Jess is a friend of mine who is in the Royal New Zealand Navy, so a pirate character for her is perfect! She’s intellligent, pretty (like Jess the pirate) and has just the right amount of attitude… I’m not sure if she has obsession with cupcakes, though.


Jess the pirate definitely has an obsession with cupcakes. So much so, that in the third book (which I’m drafting now) she and Simon travel the world to find exotic new recipes so they can open their very own bakery!

April Challenges

A to Z Challenge, Illustration, News

For the April A-Z blogging challenge, I’ll be blogging about my latest release, The Caretaker of Imagination.

After the buzz and overwhelming excitement of my first real launch party, I’m now launching into a few more projects: blogging, illustration & writing.

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0 (1)First up, I’m joining in on the A to Z Challenge. It happens every April, and every day (except Sundays) gets a turn for a topic beginning with each letter of the alphabet. I’m theming my posts, so each post will be about The Caretaker of Imagination.

Secondly, I’m working on an illustration job for my friend, Anne. She’s publishing her first children’s picture book soon, and I’m doing the artwork for her second book, Animal Heaven.

Finally – the one you’re all waiting for! I’m working on the second and third book after The Caretaker of Imagination. They’re stand-alone sequels, which means they can be read on their own OR as part of their series.

The second book is Lucy’s Story: The End of the World (You can read a teaser here!) and it’s currently fully-written, half-illustrated, and ready for the last couple rounds of editing. The third book is called Beyond the End of the World and it’s in first draft phase (if you look to the right you can see my progress for this and Animal Heaven).

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Jane Thorne and Dornwell Studios on sharing a creative space


So apparently WordPress didn’t like me reblogging this. Poos.

Anyhow, below is a link to an interview with my illustrator, Jane, and some of the artists she works with at Dornwell Studios. It’s a wonderful space, and I always have a nosey around when I go to visit. The interview looks at what it’s like to work as part of a shared space, set in an industrial, suburban area. Insightful.

The interview:

If you’re interested, I also wrote a piece on SONZA after their most recent studio exhibition. You can read that here.