The most recent joint creative endeavor for Christina and myself is our book, The Pup From Away. Published by Acorn Press in spring 2015, this book has been both our biggest and most involved project to date.
When we moved the Prince Edward Island it was quite a transformative experience. After spending much of my life living in and around large urban centres, moving to a small rural island was quite a change. The overall pace of life, friendliness of the inhabitants and awe inspiring landscapes were all things that had drew us there and have subsequently kept us so far.
Before moving to the island we were living around Christinas' family on the west coast of Scotland. While we were living there, our pup Dooku was staying with Christinas' parents on their island farm out in country. When we were reunited in 2008, we were pleasantly surprised how much our big city dog had really turned into such a happy little farm dog. This really planted the seed in us for this story idea, which would germinate over the next couple of years.
From an art perspective this was Christinas most challenging book to date. The scenes were all thoroughly story boarded out beforehand and meticulously created in order to create this very specific aesthetic. I really believe that it is this sculpted illustration that really gives the book its high level of impact. It's one part sculpture and one part diorama, with bright bold colors and textures. From a writing standpoint, I spent many hours going back and forth with my editor in order to really give the book a proper story arc and an appropriate level of tension at times.
The timing of the books completion did take take a sad turn however. One week after finishing the book, our Pup From Away passed away quite suddenly. We were always thankful for the time we had with him and felt that we were glad to be able to tell his story to a wider audience. We were also fortunate that we had a full year to fully grieve before the book came out. This made it much easier to talk about when we were doing our book launch, book signings and radio interviews.
In the end we felt that this book has been a significant milestone in our childrens book making career. We really feel that this is our best book yet and has only reaffirmed our love of working in this genre and working with each other.
Take a look at the video below, to hear us chat more about the book.
You can purchase your very own copy of The Pup From Away, by following this LINK