I asked PP author/illustrator Erica Jane Waters to tell us a little bit about what it is like to be an author/illustrator on tour and she kindly agreed to spill all! Enjoy!
Earlier this year, when the first of my Petticoat Pirate books was published I was offered the opportunity to promote the books via a series of events. I grasped with both hands the chance to step out of my little studio and into the real world outside, and this year has been one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling of my career so far.
The first of my ‘events’ was at my publishers itself, just to ease me into things gently. The children and friends of the staff were invited in for the day to make eye patches with me, watch me draw sea monsters and listen to me read from my first book. I got to meet my very first Petticoat Pirate fan, the lovely Molly!
After that I felt confident enough to set off on my own to visit schools, libraries and festivals and just the other weekend I was invited to appear at Cheltenham Literature Festival. Some of the children came along dressed as characters from my books, complete with heart shaped eye patches!
Every event is different and I never know until I get there what will work, so I try and have a few different routines to hand. It’s always a mixture of reading, drawing, chatting about books and the children never fail to amaze me with their wonderful imaginations and curiosity about my job and how I work. I was a little nervous to begin with, but now I find talking about something I love and sharing my stories comes naturally.
There are so many fabulous things involved with doing events – meeting lots of lovely people, getting to break out of my studio and into the outside world, sharing what I love with others - but by FAR the best thing is witnessing first hand the reactions of children to my stories and my drawings. It reminds me why I do what I do and reassures me that I’m doing a good job!