Thursday, 28 August 2014

We chat to the utterly awesome team behind one of the most beautiful children's books of the year - "On Sudden Hill" - Hi to Linda Sarah and Benji Davies

Since we first saw a sneaky snippet of art from "On Sudden Hill" on Twitter, we've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for what seems like ages for this lovely book to arrive. Now it has, and it's completely knocked us for six! It's stunning, and we're very very VERY lucky to be able to chat with Linda Sarah and Benji Davies, two of our favourite book folk, to find out a little bit more about the book and what inspires them. Take it away, lovelies!

Linda Sarah

Hello Read it Daddy - thank you for having me on your blog!

I work mostly in bustly places like cafes, often listening to Very Loud (and very bad taste) music. This is where most stories and illustrations happen (fuelled often by fat slices of cake that sometimes magically appear - and huge amounts of strong, foamy coffee decorated with love hearts/hedgehogs/birds by the awesome R. :-) And I love The British Museum to glide around in, filling sketchbooks with drawings and ideas.

This is a photo of where I work a lot

Linda busying herself in her studio

And this illustrated biography tells a few more details (like how writing in the bath produces completely different types of stories/poems than those written 'on dry land')

This is a picture of Bifi, the Picture Book Fairy, who is very wise and has a good grasp of grammar and often also, luckily, hangs out in cafes where I work

Bifi the Picture Book Fairy. An awesome inspiration indeed!

This is where I would like to work

Wow! Just wow!

This is the chair I often sit in to write stories (I'm not sure why there's a cat in it - I've never seen him before)
Bifi the Picture Book Fairy (We absolutely love love LOVE Linda's book "Mi and Museum City" by the way!)

Thank you! (and thank you too Linda!)

Benji Davies

I work at home - that is in my studio, the ‘spare’ room of the house that my wife and I bought in Walthamstow last year.

Benji Davies' studio. Uber-cool!

It’s an upside down house, with the living room, kitchen and dining area on the top floor, more like an apartment. The floor below that is the bedroom and the studio, and my wife’s studio(she is a fashion designer) is on the ground floor.

My studio is full of books. Some are my own work that have been sent to me from publishers. They are happily stacked and distributed at will to family and friends. Except the many foreign editions which in almost 20 languages are more of a struggle to relocate. They still haven’t got shelves - I’ve been too busy to do anything about it since we moved in.

I’m lucky to have space for two desks. I work on the computer or on the drawing table where I have a lightbox for working up roughs and for doing messier stuff with real pens and paint.

I also use sketchbooks, but they’re for when I’m not in the studio. I take them out and about, or when I want to do a bit of drawing in front of the TV or sitting at the kitchen table. I like to keep my workspace flexible I think it sometimes helps to change your environment, give you a different perspective for what you’re working on.

I’m a big fan of making a cup of tea and looking out the window when I’m stuck on something. We have a nice big sliding door and balcony which is great for cloud watching.

Heck of a view, now we know where Benji gets his awesome cloudscapes from

Huge thanks to both Linda and Benji (and the awesome Jade at Simon and Schuster) for inviting us on the blog tour for this really gorgeous book. We'll be reviewing it in full very VERY soon!)

"On Sudden Hill" is released 28th August 2014. Today in fact! Go grab it right now! Also check out the rest of the lovely bloggers below who have joined us on the tour. Awesome folk one and all!