Nicola Kinnear – Author & Illustrator Interview

Nicola Kinnear Have you met Logan yet? He’s the very shy character in Nicola Kinnear’s debut picture book, A Little Bit Brave. It’s wonderfully gorgeous, and so we invited the creator into My Book Corner to have a little chat.

Tell us about you in 25 words or less.

I am an illustrator and storyteller living just outside London. Nature, folklore and the sea all inspire my illustrations.

A Little Bit Brave, your debut picture book, has just been released. How did it come to be?

The book actually started as a Christmas Card that I sent out. It had a few rabbits hopping around, in a snowy forest scene. Alison Green Books really loved the card and asked if I would like to do a picture book with them, about rabbits. I was thrilled to say yes and began working closely with Alison Green and Zoë Tucker on the story.

Where is your favourite place to create?

I find that I am most productive at my desk. I have a lovely space for it in front of big windows to get lots of natural light and my windowsill is full of plants. Tilly, one of my cats, will come and keep me company from time to time. She can also be a bit of a distraction or a hindrance!

I sometimes work away from my desk, in a coffee shop, but I can’t always be as focused. I would love to try and work in different places more though, to break up my week.

Desk with Tilly

What’s on your TBR pile at the moment?

I have huge list of books on my to be read pile, so I won’t list them all! Katherine Arden’s ‘The Winter of the Witch’ is on top. ‘Spinning Silver’ by Naomi Novik and ‘The Corset’ by Laura Purcell are also waiting patiently.

There are so many lovely picture books, that I have my eye on. I love the look of ‘Monty and the Poodles’ by Katie Harnett and ‘One Day in Wonderland’ by Kathleen Krull and Julia Sarda. Books by illustrators, Jessica Courtney Tickle and Jenny Løvlie are also must buys.

What’s your worst habit?

I can sometimes get distracted easily.

The strangest question you’ve even been asked?

“What’s an alligator?” I was asked this by a little girl who couldn’t pronounce the word Illustrator. Personally, I love the thought of an alligator illustrator.

What are your top tips for budding children’s picture book creators?

Keep a sketchbook with you everywhere you go. You can then draw or write down any ideas that come to you. I find that train journeys can be the best time for ideas to pop into my head, and I get annoyed if I forget to bring my sketchbook.

For me, drawing is such an integral part of making a picture book. Practice drawing all sorts of characters and different animals too. When I’m coming up with my characters, I will fill up pages and pages of my sketchbook with the same character until it’s right.

Can you give us a glimpse / hint at your current WIP? (I can bribe you with cake!)

I’m not sure how much I can reveal at this early stage, but I can say that I am working on my second picture book. It’s going to have a group of friends at its center.

Just for fun

Tea or coffee? Tea

Seaside or countryside? Seaside

Paper books or e-books? Paper books

Cake or chocolate? Chocolate Cake!

Write or type? Write

Poetry or prose? Prose

Hot or cold? Hot

alittlebitbrave

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