Twitter chat with author and illustrator Ed Vere
By Tara King
The author and children’s illustrator took a break from his drawing board to join us for a lively Kids’ Book Club twitter chat. Ed Vere is well-known for his kids’ books Mr Big, Banana!, The Getaway and his latest title Bedtime for Monsters was recently shortlisted for the Roald Dahl funny prize. He studied fine art at Camberwell College of Art, London and has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1999. He is published in both the UK and America.
Ed is also a painter, and is represented by galleries in London, Los Angeles and South Africa. He is a Greenway Medal nominee, a World Book Day illustrator, and won the Booktrust Baby Book Award in 2009 for Chick. Missed the chat? You can catch up by reading the full transcript here…
@Babbleabout Hi Ed Vere, We love Mr Big in our house. Where did you get the idea for him and his piano playing?
@ed_vere Hello there, it came from a drawing that I'd done of a gorilla playing the piano. He looked both forbidding and vulnerable at the same time. And also my love of jazz music.
@playbythebook If Ed Vere could invite any authors and illustrators (living or dead) to dinner who would he invite?
@Ed_Vere Great question. I'd invite E.H. Shephard, Jean-Jacques Sempé, Marc Boutavant, Leo Lionni and Jan Pienkowski.
@damyantipatel Are there any specific things to bear in mind when illustrating for children?
@ed_vere In 140 characters... YES loads, but mainly to have fun with it.
@Pinktash4 Which children's book would be your dream to illustrate?
@ed_vere The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
@sarzsy Where do you get your inspiration from?
@ed_vere By looking at the world around me and drawing it.
@jothehunter Tell us your favourite children’s books?
@ed_vere Good question! The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and E.H. Shephard and The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake. I’m mole on a good day, the crocodile on a bad one. @playbythebook Mr Big and the Getaway both have a historic setting. Which period in history would Ed Vere like to visit?
@ed_vere Paris in the first two decades of the last century. I would love to have met Picasso, Matisse, Hemingway and Fitzgerald. The latest Woody Allen film, which is great, visits this period of history. @BookKvetch Please ask @ed_Vere: have your illustrations been featured in a book of nonfiction for kids? @ed_vere no never, but it could be an interesting avenue.
@Sarah Gouk Hi Ed, could you tell us what your next book will be about?
@Ed_vere My next book is with Walker Books coming out next October. It's called Too Noisy written by Malachy Doyle... it's about a character trying to getaway, temporarily, from his noisy family. It's a lot of fun and I'm really enjoying drawing it at the moment.
@ReadAloudDad How long does it take to get a new @edvere book out, from start to finish?
@Ed_Vere Phew... good question. The book I'm working on is one year in but usually between four and six months.
@ReadAloudDad Thanks! I can easily overlook the amount of effort invested in a book by an author! Good to know!
@KAYJAYBEAR How can you encourage kids to keep writing if they don't get any recognition, it's too easy for them to give up?
@ed_vere Tell them to think about JK Rowling and how long it took her to get published.
@liveotherwise Any advice for children starting out with writing/illustrating?
@ed_vere Yes, to write and draw everyday and to write and draw what interests you.
@theluckyone84 My daughter is really into writing and wants to write books when older. Do you have any tips for her?
@ed_vere I'm not sure I need any more competition... but to follow her imagination and write as much as possible.
@damyantipatel Would Ed Vere like to see his work animated?
@ed_vere Yes Ed Vere would... and he can't say anything about a top secret animation project he may be working on.
@playbythebook My youngest loves bananas and wants to know, does Ed Vere? Is it his favourite fruit? @ed_vere It comes second only after avocados. Maybe there's a book in that somewhere…
@playbythebook My youngest says, "Avocados? YUCK"...
@Ed_Vere Don't worry... you'll change!
@playbythebook Thanks for interesting chat! Kids' supper now needs to be cooked. Will try avocados again! @playbythebook My kids want to know if @ed_vere plays any instruments himself - like Mr Big.
@ed_vere Only very badly! I used to play the electric guitar when I was about 15.
@tescomagazine The Tesco magazine editorial team would like to know whether Ed's passion was always to draw, from a young age.
@Ed_vere Yes, I KNEW from the age of 5 that I would be an artist. No doubts.
@ed_Vere Thanks to @tescomagazine and everyone for all your great questions today... now back to the drawing board and an imminent deadline!
@tescomagazine Big round of applause and thank you to @Ed_Vere for talking to us today #kidsbookclub