For some reason I never got around to blogging this, though I was extremely pleased with the result.
This is the first fiction book I’ve ever done internal illustrations for. I’ve done recipe, diet and childcare books with internal illos, but not fiction. And this one’s a goodie – not only is Carlos Ruiz Zafon Spain’s biggest-selling children’s author, his writing is excellent and is widely read by his growing adult audience. This was his first book published in the UK – the children’s version is shown left, the adult version on the right.
There was a giant list of these images, which were drawn at twice the scale using a very fine steel nib, a Nikko G from Japan, of which I have a stack brought back for me from my friend Dick. They were intricate and very specific, and required a fair few re-draws (especially the cat, whom we just couldn’t get looking mean enough) but the end result I was pleased with, as they straddle the line between dark and sinister and childish intrique.
The story itself however is satisfyingly too close to the macabre – there is a malevolent clown, and shapeshifter, a murderous magician, and terrible things happen which you won’t find in your typical Disney-esque story. I loved it, and can’t wait to read whatever he writes next. I do a lot of chick-lit and beach-read covers, which are fun to do but definitely aren’t my choice of read, so it’s very satisfying to illustrate for something I could get my teeth (and claws) into.
What do you think of them?