The Quest Diaries of Max Crack – Q&A with Jules Faber

The Quest Diaries of Max Crack
Children's Author | Picture Book

Jules Faber is a cartoonist and illustrator, most well-known for illustrating the WeirDo series by comedian Anh Do, for which they’ve won multiple awards, including Book of the Year for Older Children at the Australian Book Industry Awards.

He’s also illustrated David Warner’s ‘Kaboom Kid’ series, Michael Pryor’s ‘Leo Da Vinci’ series, Alex Ratt’s Stinky Street Stories and some of Dr Karl Kruszelnicki’s science books.

When he’s not illustrating books, Jules loves reading books and graphic novels, and collecting comics. He has served four, two-year terms as the President of the Australian Cartoonists Association and is a Member of the CBCA NSW Committee.

Jules Faber
Jules Faber

What is The Quest Diaries of Max Crack about?

It’s about Max, a new kid in Piddown, who decides to leave his embarrassing life behind him and do all the things he’s always dreamed of doing. He calls them his ‘quests’ and he soon makes a best friend who helps him on his questing quest.

Is there a particular theme in your story?

It’s about friendship but also about making the everyday an adventure. Life can be boring, especially when you’re a kid, so I’ve tried to remind kids that the world is a grand adventure right there in front of them if they just look for it.

Was there an inspiration for your story?

I was inspired by my own childhood. Many of the adventures the boys go on have a basis in things I did growing up. Of course they’ve been modified a bit, but I’ve also included adventures I wish I could have had as a kid.

What is the story behind the story?

I had some unusual things happen to me in my childhood and always felt they’d make good material for a story. I grew up in a large family and this created an abundant wealth of material to draw upon. Anything goes in a big family and I hoped to capture that sense of fun and chaos.

What kind of research did you do to write this story?

I mostly drew on my memory of growing up, but at times I reference pop culture of both the 80s and today and needed to make sure I was being factual. Plus, there are some really big words necessary to the story and I wanted to make sure I spelled those correctly! Spellcheck couldn’t help me with words likefloccinaucinihilipilification but the Internet could.

Do you have any tips for people wanting to write for children?

Don’t forget what it was like to BE one! Books like Where The Wild Things Arespoke directly to ME as a kid frustrated by the adults that surrounded me. Children are smarter than a lot of adults give them credit for. Don’t talk at them, don’t talk down to them, just get down on their level and remember how much fun it was to be one of them. Once you do that, it’s a lot easier.

You can find out more about Jules by visiting his website.


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