Children's fiction writer

Illustrations that didn't end up being a complete waste of time

Cucumber comes up with Plan B!

When I started writing Disappearing Act I had big plans. Not only would I write this children's fiction book, I would do the illustrations too! Months (years) slipped by but with the pile of torn-up paper growing, I had to admit things just weren't working. I was frustrated. I wasn't good enough to draw what I wanted and I knew, even if I worked really hard and got better, I'd still be at it in a gazillion years time. What I needed was a Plan B!

I opened a bag of crisps and started to think. I thought and I ate and as I did Cucumber fell out of a tree, straight into my lap.

Once I'd picked myself (and her) off the floor she asked what was wrong. So I told her my problem and she hugged me. Instantly I felt better but I still couldn't draw.    
"Look," she said, "why don't you take a leaf out of my book?"
I looked quizzically at her (I raised one eyebrow).
"Do it like my picture diary!" she said exasperatedly.
And that was it! Plan B was painfully plotted there and then (Cucumber had landed with a right old thump)!

"But I don't understand?" I hear you cry! So let me explain. Cucumber is only little and, as yet, hasn't quite mastered spelling and writing. Instead, she records the day's events in her picture diary, using a mixture of drawings as well as images she's cut from magazines and newspapers.

So, taking my scissors and glue out, I started trawling through the piles of discarded, half-finished sketches, and, after another few months, I'd selected a few vaguely good ones and stuck them into my scrapbook. I was now ready for the next part of the 'illustration' process...the photos!

Disappearing Act, a very early image of Mrs M, c.1984,

Mrs M c. 1984