More sneak peeks…

There’s only four weeks to go until the launch!

So here’s four sneak peeks to celebrate.

Here’s Josh meeting the bullies…

pg 15 final colour

Prince Knut and his trusty Wolfhound going a-Viking…

pg21 colour

a proper Viking funeral…

pg22 colour

and Odin, Thor and the Bezerkers preparing for battle.

pg25 colour

My favourite part of this last image is the bottom right-hand corner. I put in a bird poo for a joke. At the time I didn’t realise that when people were going to turn this page, that’s exactly where they would have to put their thumb.

So I dreamt I signed up for a swimming marathon…

For the past two and a half months I’ve been colouring colouring colouring. And now, it’s all done. Hurrah! Crack open the virtual champagne, there’s also some digital soft drink around here somewhere if you’d rather, there’s microchips and dips, make yourself at homepage. Sorry, I’m a bit low on sleep at the moment and the filter in my brain has decided to conk out.

This book-making process began on the 7th of June 2009 , so it’s very exciting (and a great relief) to finally see it done. If all goes to plan The Last Viking will be out in the middle of this year.

As I type this I’m in the midst of getting ready to take a break- I’m traveling to New York for the Society of Children’s Book Writers’ and Illustrators’ annual Winter Conference. I’ll set up some posts for the next three weeks that will take you through the process of designing the cover of The Last Viking.

In the meantime, here’s a teaser- it’s the colour for one of my favourite scenes in the book. And when I say colour, it’s just the colour- I’ve removed the linework and the background and the borders 🙂

p21-colour-onlyOnward to Glory,


P.S. you may be wondering what the title of this blog post is about. I completely forgot to say. A few weeks ago I had a very vivid dream in which I had signed up for a swimming marathon. I am not a particularly strong swimmer, so this was an odd thing for me to do. Even odder, it was a tandem event- you swam with a partner the whole way. Even ODDER- I had signed up to swim two races at once- one tandem, one solo. I was bumping into friends on the way to the start line and couldn’t stop to chat, because I had to get started on the race, everyone else had already gone, quick rush do it do it do it! Only thing was, I kept trying to get to the starting line and I could never find it.

So. Before we get too deep and psychological, I’ll tell you what it meant to me. I have been finishing this book with Norm. It’s been a tandem marathon. I’ve also been trying to get another book started, one that I’ve written and will illustrate myself. It will also be a marathon. And lately I haven’t been able to catch up with people as much because I’ve been head down bum up. It’s one of the few dreams I’ve had in my life where the meaning was completely obvious to me when I woke up.

And now that I’ve finished the illustrations, I can finally get some sleep 🙂