For my next book Kip, I thought I’d like some illustrations. This idea was given great inspiration whilst walking along the beach with our family in Newcastle one morning. As we walked, a large pod of dolphins wound their way through the waves parallel to us occasionally stopping to catch a wave before effortlessly leaping out of the water.
Those moments are magical.
Kwali is a river dolphin and one of the heroes in my children’s book Kip. Kwali’s the archetypal being of knowledge, wisdom and courage. So my first attempt at sketching after many years was of a dolphin.
Next came Djidi - this is a Noongar word for a Willy Wagtail. In Kip, Djidi is the go between for Kip and Maali and the other birds and animals they come to know in the adventures they have together.
For an old bloke, I was pretty happy with my first attempts. Naturally there is plenty more work to do on them, but I’d like to hear what you think. I’ve got a couple of others to do - maybe a Magpie and Old Brown Snake too.
In the meantime, with the flu season on our doorstep I’ve been inundated at work with vaccinations and worried families with sick kids, as well as the burden of disease we all shoulder as we age, so time for drawing is, well, sketchy! All being well, Kip should be on the bookshelves by Christmas.
I’ve been working up in the Pilbara in NW Australia. It’s iron ore country and the landscape is red as far as the eye can see. I thought I’d find a spot for a quiet read, but you’re never quite alone in the bush! Even though it was only 6.30am, it was still 36C and the flies were everywhere!! They’re pesky creatures, but hey, any audience is a great audience. Now if only I can teach them to talk and spread the word about Captain Scully, then I’d be a very happy man!
On Thursday 15th November 2018 I’ll be presenting Captain Scully to the people of Perth WA at a book launch in the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral. I’m super excited about this as it’s my first time to “perform” in public and share my story with a much wider audience. I hope some TV and media will be there as the story would make a great movie or TV series!!
Keep me in your thoughts and prayers and thanks for all your support over the past few years.