This afternoon Caleb went into production on a series of hand-drawn illustrations for my upcoming novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears. We had an hour long business meeting over coffee, (and apple juice), drew up a contract, (wherein he settled upon £1 per drawing as a reasonable payment and I was also pretty content with this having anticipated he might want to be paid in Lego, which is just about the most expensive currency outside of Norway these days), and made a list of the characters Caleb felt most inspired by in the novel. He’s a great wee drawer and I’m hoping his sketches can be used as backdrops for forthcoming readings and, seeing as the book is focused upon a small boy, help me see how the characters would appear to a child. Here’s a picture of our legally binding contract and the artist hard at it, with felt tips and new drawing pens.
When I lived in Portland, Oregon and was developing the idea of Malcolm Orange Disappears, (which is also set in PDX), I asked the then seven year old, Braden McClelland to draw me a few sketches of some of the characters I was thinking of including. Mr Fluff, the novel’s talking cat was a personal favourite and really nailed how I saw her in the novel. I still have this particularly drawing on my desktop and love the colours, the boldness and the opportunity to rummage in the imagination of much younger and less cluttered minds.