Friday, 6 September 2013

The Next Big Thing! - A global blog tour.

So I'm part of the global blog tour- exciting stuff huh?
Have a read of my wee interview and enjoy this leg of the journey!

I've been tagged by Paula Bowles (thank you very much) to take part in 'The Next big Thing' blog tour of children's books, which began in Australia. You can see Paula's post here and track back through the whole tour by clicking on all of the links (if that makes sense!!)

I'm going to write about the monkey & Robot books as a collective, rather than just focusing on one.
So it's Monkey & Robot written by Felix Hayes, illustrated by me Hannah Broadway, published by Bloomsbury.
Where did the idea for this book come from?
A few years ago I did an alphabet series of prints, called the 'A - Z of the little things in life'; where it was things like D is for 'Dancing in the kitchen', C is for 'Cup of tea someone else makes for you' - you know all the important stuff! Well, anyway Y was 'You & me' represented by a toy knitted monkey & a tin robot. 

My brilliant Mother-in-law Sarah Hayes (herself a writer & illustrator - This is the bear, nine ducks nine, grumpalump, Fimbles to name but a few) saw the image and said- "oh they make good characters" which got me and my husband, actor, writer Felix Hayes thinking and after lots of long walks and coffee the Monkey & Robot you see before you were born!

What genre does your book fall under?
Picture book

Which actors would star in a move rendition of your book?
Well Felix of course! In fact we are actually in the process of optioning them as an animation. The marvellous Dot to Dot are busy working on a test animation at this very moment. So fingers crossed! I guess its more of a question of who should do the voices, hmmm well how about Miranda Hart as Robot and Alan Carr as Monkey please.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The entertaining everyday adventures of best friends Monkey & Robot

Who published your book?
The very lovely people at Bloomsbury

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I'm really not sure! It was quite a slow process, something that went in lots of different directions really. Once we were properly commissioned and the texts were complete I guess I did the artwork for 4 books over the course of 6 months or so.

What other books would you compare this story to within your own genre?
Well its a best friends story, so Frog & Toad (by Arnold Lobel) was definitely something we talked about pretty early on, but its a big ask to be compared to them!!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I've already mentioned Sarah, who helped sow the seed. But to be honest I think it was actually Felix and I chatting in the kitchen (while dancing probably!) that really got the books going as we feel in love with Monkey & Robot and thought they'd make fun bedtime companions for all small people being read to. Who doesn't love robots and monkeys?
What else about this book might pique the reader’s interest?
Maybe I just answered that! We think that the combo of a robot & a monkey as the lead roles are good un, kind of very silly archetypes that bring out the best in each other.

And what is next after The Next Big Thing?
Lots! I don't just make picture books, so there is lots of illustration stuff to be getting on with (BIG murals for a new hospital, posters, a book about Bikes, exhibitions, christmas markets - see more details on my blog)
 but we keep our fingers crossed for the Monkey & Robot Show, and I am working on some ideas for younger children, since having our little girl we are looking for ways to turn the games we play in to books! So watch this space...

Thank you very much Global Blog tour.
I'd like to tag/ introduce a very old and talented chum of mine (I mean, I have known him a long time, he isn't that old!) Tom Banks, the amazingly talented writer of The Great Galloon.