A Hairy Bean with Dreadlocks

I’ve not blogged for a while. This is mainly due to starting a new teaching job, which I am very much enjoying but is taking a fair bit of my time. I also have a fair few other self-employed jobs which I am also trying to find time for – so poor old Grotsby-Snot frequently gets pushed to the bottom of the pile. However…

The REALLY good news is that my agent has managed to arrange a new meeting with the children’s book crew at Bloomsbury. I am once again greatly excited!

So, for this meeting I’ve been working on two stories, and since completing my MA in January, doing so with renewed energy. I am determined to enjoy every aspect of the process. And writing and illustrating a children’s book – of any kind – is a long process.

As a writer I am unproven. As an illustrator of children’s books, I am a graduate. So – to put money behind an unproven writer, who also happens to be an unproven illustrator – well, that’s a big ask. I have, therefore, to do this on my own – as well as having to pay the rent, of course.

So far, I have two plots, some rough storyboarding, and versions of the stories that are beginning to emerge in both a picture book format and also a middle grade kind of format (basically for children who are more advanced in their reading, but still enjoy lots of illustration).

I want to be able to show Rebecca and Emma at Bloomsbury where I am going with the stories, for both the older age group and the picture book group. This is in the hope of gaining a degree of clarity about which to concentrate on first. Of course, I also want feedback on wether or not the stories have potential generally. After all, I know the character has interest (see my post here).

I imagine Grotsby’s adventures as a series, but as an unproven writer I don’t think you ‘debut’ with a series. Therefore I need a really good story that can work on its own – and whether or not I have that yet will be tested at the forthcoming meeting.

So what is this post all this about – why share these drawings now?

Because I love this bit. The sketching bit. The working out how the character sneaks, farts, eats, jumps or rides a chariot. That’s the really good bit for me. Basically, I’m drawing a hairy bean with dreadlocks. Over and over again – and I like doing it.


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