What's the title of your next book?
I'm developing a book called 'The Wonder'. Titles are always subject to alteration and change, but it feels right for the project...
Where did the idea come from?
A few years ago I was walking in Richmond Park, and had the idea of clouds being made in candyfloss cloud contraptions, and being fluffed up by little creatures on flying whisk bicycles. (Average Sunday afternoon stuff). Anyway, the ideas stuck and have evolved through many (many many) different incarnations of the book. It was also party inspired by the Pixar animated short 'Partly Cloudy' and 'The Tale of How' by The Blackheart Gang.
What genre does your book fall under?
Fantastical picturebooks for 3 - 8 year olds. And also adults who read fantastical picturebooks to 3 - 8 year olds.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
It would have to be some sort of Jim Henson Studio/Terry Gilliam collaboration. Lots of puppets (possibly Fraggles in costume, in order to save costs) flying contraptions, and a scruffy, loveable boy in a duffle coat for the lead.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My wonderful agent is Hilary Delamere at The Agency, London.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
This is the story of a boy continually scolded for daydreaming - until his imagination is set alight, and he realises the incredible power of dreams.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
One train journey to Edinburgh. (About two and a half hours).
What books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'm not sure there really are any, but probably the closest thing would be 'The Red Tree' by the truly amazing Shaun Tan. I have to consciously TRY not to rip him off.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I'm constantly inspired by children's capacity to wonder. I think it's something that needs to be fostered, nurtured and actively encouraged. The book is, essentially, about realising your dreams - that there are no limits but your imagination. (And therefore no limits at all).
What else about your book may pique the reader's interest?
There are, like, little rabbits in outfits.
Who are you passing the baton onto for next weeks Next Big Thing?
I'd love to pass the baton onto the incredible Kate Slater, the wonderful Nicola Killen and the fantastic Cass Thomas. They're all quite offensively talented!