When people ask me what I do, the short answer is: "I write". To anyone foolhardy enough to ask for the long answer, it's: "I write picture books, fiction for older children, poems, song lyrics, books for musicals (and by 'books' I mean the stories and any of the dialogue in those musicals), plays and - sometimes - libretti for operas too." I've written fifty books and half a dozen musicals and I feel like I've only just begun. All these kinds of writing may - and I stress may - seem quite different from one another, but they all have one thing in common: they are collaborative.
I love working with other people - whether it's composers, directors and actors or illustrators, editors and designers. They always make what I do - the words - so much more exciting and interesting and scary and heart-breaking and surprising than I ever could on my own.
Check out some of the amazing images that my words have been lucky enough to stand next to and you'll see what I mean. This one's from Time Now To Dream, a picture book I did with Helen Oxenbury last year:
This one's from Soon by me and Patrick Benson:
There are funny dinosaurs (like these, in Dinosaurs in the Supermarket, illustrated by Sarah Warburton) but you'll have to look closely to spot them:
And dastardly intergalactic villains, such as the evil Dr Frankenstinker, from Mungo and the Spiders From Space, illustrated by Adam Stower:
The blogs I'll be posting here will, in different ways, be about how picture books are written and I hope they'll be interesting to anyone who wants to know more, and helpful to anyone who'd like to have a go themselves. You might also like this interview I did with the brilliant Steven Lenton: