Young Authors and Illustrators Seminar
We all stumbled out of the car, at last fresh air!
We reached our destination at Owairaka School,
and we were gathered in the hall.
Ready like professional Authors and Illustrators,
we spied out Donovan Bixely and Des Hunt talking
like they were ready too.
First of all we were led off by Donovan Bixely the illustrator for the day.
He introduced himself by saying -
“Donovan’s my name, I wear a hat to make sure my brains don’t fall out.”
Everyone giggled. He announced his latest illustrated book - Dashing Dogs,
with Margaret Mahy.
He taught us everything a good illustrator needs to know and learn.
With tips like :
1. Read the book
2. Sketch, Sketch and Sketch
Hopefully our illustrating has improved from that learning discussion.
We chomped on our morning tea, and had a brief look around, we could tell they are a VERY green school. They even accommodate bees!
We rushed off to our next session, with Des Hunt. [The author]
“Growing up in the war times was very hard” he said.
“I was always interested in adventure stories, but got very annoyed that all these adventures were set in other countries.” Said Des.
So of course he wanted to change that!
He was nuts over chemistry and was extremely good at it, but remained wanting to write a New Zealand based book. And he did, and called it the ‘The Last Tuatara’
but he came to realise after being rejected 7 times from publishers his book was wrote very poorly. And poor Des realised why, after being a physics at
Hawawera High School for so long, he wrote it like he was teaching the reader more than telling a story.
Des told us what makes a good book, and went through some thrilling experiments!
And has now published over 80 successful books.