If you were following my Twitter account a few years ago, you may remember that I had a fox as my background, just on the left of the page. His sharpÂ little nose pointed to a post and he said Big WhoopÂ with his sarcastic face on.
So how do you go from there to a book?
Well the first thing to happen was a conversation with my Agent (Bright) in the US* and at the time, that was the fabulous Kirsten Hall. I had no intention of doing anything other than occasionally agree with Mr. Fox as he selected a random post on Twitter to be not bothered about (sometimes my own, sometimes not). Kirsten had a twitchy feeling though and planted the seed that he’d be a great character if I could develop a story for him.
So I did.
It involved a rabbit, a squirrel, a helicopter, a dragon, kittens, a chessboard and a sausage. The sausage was eventually dropped, for reasons of decency, but the story was something to build on with the right publisher. Cue Pow! Kids Books.
I had one of those overseas conversations with Sharyn at Pow!, you know where you sound very awkward and dweeb-like because of the delay (laughing 20 seconds after the last sentence started so you miss the start of the next sentence). We talkedÂ about language and words and I learned why American’s look at me like I’m a little strange in face-to-face conversation. I use a LOT of colloquial terms, so we had to change that. Originally, there was a line ‘Well fold me like a letter and post me home!’. That was cut.
At this point, we signed the deal, and although it was my third book, it was my first with a publisher outside of the UK so I was completely chuffed (if you’re in the UK)/stoked (if you’re in the US).
From there it was just ironing out details and colouring in. The personalities of Roman and Harrison and Mr. Fox are all family based. I couldn’t possibly put names to them, that would be rude, but I bet the lovely mister can spot himself in there…
Pow! have been brilliant to work with and pretty much let me run riot with the artwork, but I’ll always be sad about the sausage. I loved that sausage, in all it’s innocent inappropriateness.
To see for yourself or to play ‘Spot where the sausageÂ was’, Big Whoop! is available here and all over the place (in the US) or on Amazon or Foyles in the UK.
If you fancy seeing some reviews, you can check out Goodreads or Google if you have a spare 5 minutes.
To keep up to date with all my latest goings on in your Facebook news feed, you can stay in touch here – FACEBOOK – tada!
I really appreciate your support, people, even just reading my waffles on here. It means so muchÂ to me and I can’t say a GREATBIGTHANKYOU enough!
*I shouldÂ point out that my Agents in the US now areÂ the equally fabulous Anne Moore-ArmstrongÂ and James Burns.
5 thoughts on “Big Whoop! A Whole Book From A Tiny Illustration.”
A sarcastic fox! I love it! And foxes in general. I have a white ceramic one curled up on my bookcase. It was a very neat journey from a small illustration to a pb, congrats!
This is one tasty book. Congratulations!
What a cute, original premise for a book, Maxine! I’m looking forward to reading it!
What an amazing way to get an illustration published (as a book). Congratulations on the release! Too bad about the sausage though …
What a great character! Congratulations!