I met with publisher Jude Evans and senior editor Ellie Farmer, and maybe it's part of the job description but I was struck once again by just how incredibly lovely the people behind children's book publishing are!
High in a well-windowed penthouse, the light streaming in peacefully from all sides, we sat and chatted about strength and structure, language and shape, the rhythm of waves, falling stars and big bottoms.... It was delightful. And exciting. A charming, gentle, delightful kind of exciting. My favourite kind of exciting.
We talked about ideas and exploring them, and I left with a head full of creatures and possibilities. As I settle down now to dream up a brand new world, I mull carefully these notions of voice and characterisation, and what it is to find the magic in a story that means children not only see and hear a picture book, but feel it too.
Ellie and Jude were both thoughtful and inspiring. They've worked very hard to create an environment that feels effortlessly nurturing to their writers and illustrators, and I appreciate that a great deal. I look forward very much to working within that environment, and have no doubt at all that somewhere along the way magic will indeed be found.