Graeme Base – Interview with CKT

Graeme Base

Q. Tell us in 5 words that best describe you?

optimisationally-focused, problem-solving controlfreak

Q. Tell us a little about your writing journey. What prompted you to sit down and write your first story?

Inspiration always comes in visual form, usually when I am travelling. When a book idea is developing in my head I am constantly imagining how the art will look, but necessarily put that to one side until the story is well-developed. When I do get into the artwork I continually tinker with the text, but only small things – the overall shape is set solid very early on. I was prompted to write my first book as a result of getting sacked from a job in advertising. I did some illustrations for other peoples’ stories and one day it occurred to me that I might be able to write one myself…

Q. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Working from home – though as anyone who works from home will tell you the downside is you never come home from work.

Q. How do you come up with your characters?

I almost always use animals as fill-ins for humans in my stories, partly because you can get away with more message-skewed themes that way and because people are too hard to draw.

Q. Are you a plotter or a panster? 
(Plotter =Plotting out your manuscript before you write it. / Panster = Putting pen to paper and plotting as you go along)

A Plotter. Totally and utterly a Plotter.

Q. What’s the best piece of writing advice you have been given?

Listen to your editor. (Not that I do, of course)

Q. What is a typical writing day for you?

Varies enormously depending on proximity of deadline, level of inspiration and availability of coffee.

Q. How did you celebrate your first book being published?

It was too long ago to remember! But given that I was flat broke at the time I suspect it would have been an extra glass of (cheap) wine with a (one course) meal at the local restaurant.

Q. Which one of your books did you have the most fun writing?

The Discovery of Dragons.  It was written entirely for my own enjoyment and so that I could draw a bookful of my favourite subject matter.

What’s next from Graeme Base?

Next year there are two more in the Little Bug Books Series, a counting book adaptation of Uno’s Garden and a major new book that I can’t tell you about.

Graeme’s website:


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