Friday, 2 September 2011

Hello, from Gwen Grant

Looking out of the window this morning with Jak, aged 6, we saw the goats and horse in the paddock at the end of our garden. Fine, until the goats smash through the fence to get at our flowers. They hate going back and the big goat will scarily stomp his hooves up and down to show his displeasure.

We back off then.

The post was interesting, as well. ‘Folio Books’ sent their prospectus that has an absolutely captivating illustration on the front. Further investigation proved it to be by Anna and Elena Balbusso for Margaret Atwood’s book, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’

Since I’ve put two books on Kindle, ‘The Last Coal Barge’ and ‘Nefertiti and the Aliens,’ illustrations have acquired a new importance. I remember illustrations for other books I’ve written which have not only given me immense delight but have also added immeasurably to the story. Still, we now do the best we can.
Faith Jaques did the illustrations for two of the books in my trilogy, ‘Private-Keep Out!’ ‘Knock and Wait,’ and ‘One Way Only,’ which are loosely based on my own childhood in the late 40’s, early 50’s. ‘Private-Keep Out!’ was first published in 1978 and is still in print.

I intend to publish ‘Knock and Wait’ and ‘One Way Only’ on Kindle when I can as, having been written some time ago, I don’t have them in digital format so have to type them all over again!
Faith’s illustrations were so evocative, I felt she must have lived just down the street. She didn’t, but she came from a similar area in Leicester.
That whole world now seems as remote as Victorian England and writing this blog, my first ever, is quite different to when I started writing on an old sit-up-and-beg Underwood typewriter. I used this for years. Even addressing an envelope took ages.

‘The Last Coal Barge’ was based on an old barge sunk in the water when the Pit across the road closed down. Danny, the boy in the story, was an echo of one of my brothers, for we used to play in the woods around the old Pit when we were young. WE were always seeing things that weren’t there.
‘Nefertiti and the Aliens’ came about because of a fascinating book on ancient Egypt I borrowed from the Library. There was one wall painting in the book I couldn’t get out of my mind. A huge desert of sand with a couple of really odd looking people under a tree in an oasis.
I just had to write about them.

And I noticed that Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘Pat Hobbit’ stories are being broadcast on Radio 4.

One other magazine arrived also. Christian Meditation UK has an enthralling article on ‘Liberating Silence.’

An interesting day.

2 comments:

Doug Brunell said...

I have thought about using illustrations for an upcoming Kindle piece. I just haven't decided if I should yet. Hearing your experience with them pushes me a bit in the pro direction.

Emma Barnes said...

Gwen, I love Private, Keep Out and will look forward to reading the others.

The heroine of that book was never named, was she? I always wondered about that. Was it because she was you?

She was so uncompromising, tough and appealing - there was never any sloppiness creeping in - but such an appealing family story! No wonder it has always been in print.