Author & Illustrator Interview: Sean Julian

Sean JulianHuge welcome to picture book author & illustrator Sean Julian, ( The Great Big Sleep), who has popped in to My Book Corner to answer our questions …

Tell us about you in 25 words or less.

I’m a glass half full type person who would then drink what was in the glass and have a good burp.

What makes you happy?

A warm embrace from the ones I love. Tea and biscuits. The BBC iplayer. New socks.

Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet?

Not much of a traveller (not sure I like it) but I think one day I’ll get the bug to go travelling and then who knows where I’ll end up…Wiltshire sounds nice though!  When I do go I’ll be dressed like Alan Wicker.

Where is your favourite place to illustrate and/or write?

For drawing and writing, especially when faced with tricky problems that need inspirational solutions, a coffee shop that is roughly 15 – 30mins walk away from my home is perfect. The rest of the time I work in my studio with the BBC iPlayer on.

What’s on your TBR pile at the moment?

Just started the latest Robert Galbraith novel. The first two books in the series kept me happy and reading.  After that I will be trying to track down some of the Discworld novels I haven’t read yet – especially the ones with the Witches in! Granny Weatherwax is great.  Also the next ‘Rivers of London’ book is to be published soon.

What’s the best thing about being a published illustrator?

I love what I do, illustrating has always been a challenge that I enjoy and an occupation that continually inspires.  I can also go into an art shop and buy as many pencils, pens, paints, pastels and papers as I like, and it’s all OK because that’s my job.

What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked (and what was your answer)? 

Can’t think of anything for this one which is annoying because I must have been asked strange questions before – I’ve met a lot of strange people.

What’s your worst habit?

I eat a lot of apples, usually using a knife to slice bits off to eat. Once I’m finished eating the apple I stick the knife in the apple’s core and then shove it all in the remnants of my cuppa tea or leave it on the arm of the sofa. For some reason this really infuriates my girlfriend.

Your favourite word(s)?

Nan-night, Cob, Snap, Jitty, Mardy, these words remind me of home.

Can you give us a glimpse / peek / hint at your current WIP (I could bribe you with a cake/pics of cute dogs!)?

The Great Big Sleep was the first picture book I’ve written and illustrated. The book I’m currently working on with North South Books will be my second and it involves a Dragon, but I don’t think they would appreciate me sharing with the world just yet.  In the meantime, here are some characters that are waiting to have their story written.


Sean Julian - Thundercluck


Sean Julian - Monkey annoyed

 Annoyed Monkey

Did we forget anything?

Nope, you were very thorough.

Just for fun

Tea or coffee?

Like both – but for dunking purposes it is always tea.

Paper books or e-books?

Paper Books smell better and don’t run out of battery life.

Cake or chocolate?

Probably cake if I had to choose – in no particular order…Lemon Drizzle, Lemon curd tarts, Bakewell Tart (but not the cherry). Chocolate cake with a cup of tea.

Write or type?

Write first and then type up to figure stuff out.

Poetry or prose?

Poetry. As a project The Great Big Sleep started out as an epic adventure poem about a squirrel called Sean who was lost in the woods. Below is an excerpt from the original poem:

As a heavy eyed Sean fell asleep, he began to loudly snore

Which woke the resident bear who let out an angry roar!

Grumpy bears aren’t known to waste time or mess about

The newly awoken grizzly picked him up and kicked him out.

I sit patiently awaiting my appointment as the next poet laureate. It’s only a matter of time.

Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin?

Let’s not kid ourselves – I’m a house elf.

Hot or cold?

Cold. I can always put a jumper on.

Thank you Sean!

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