It has occurred to me – I know, it has taken a long time – that those of my wonderful readers who bought Into Africa to read on their Kindle in the early days may have missed out on some of the stunning sketches which were included in the paperback and later Kindle versions (from Feb ’19).
Actually I’m jesting with the ‘stunning sketches’ bit. Drawing has clearly never been my forte.
I invited several people to try their hand at reading the outlines which had been planted in my head for years. Unfortunately they were not very good mind-readers. One lady beautifully captured one with the kids and the dog in the wheelbarrow, but it was just TOO realistic (I did have a photo of that for her to work from).
Then an amateur cartoonist tried his hand, but having my characters with heads twice as big as their bodies just didn’t work for me. A few more attempted the task but, alas, failed to reproduce my thought-pictures too.
Of course my cause may not have been helped by the fact that the artiste had no promise of payment for their work. This being my first book I had no idea if I would sell any copies, so could not afford to pay anyone. They would be doing it for the glory of having their work in print and an acknowledgement on the cover! If I sold enough copies of the book I would obviously give them a bonus, but nothing was guaranteed.
Then one day my publisher asked me,
“What are these ‘illustrations’ you want to put in the book?”
I explained my plight to her and sent a copy of a very rough sketch I had done of one of the incidents.
“This isn’t so bad!” said the witch, “just put your barrow down and get on with it woman. You can do it.”
Quite frankly it was a bloody nightmare. I might get one child looking OK then the next one would be atrocious. The term ‘cut and paste’ normally means a few clicks of a mouse here and there. In my case, it consisted of a pair of scissors and a Pritt Stick. And Lots and LOTS of paper!
It really doesn’t seem fair, after all the blood, sweat and tears I shed over the drawing of those bloody sketches, that you should be spared the privilege of seeing them.
So I shall be planting a few on here for your delight.
Actually, the first sketch was in Chapter one, which you will find previewed somewhere on this site so I won’t repeat that. All I will say is that in order to compose that sketch I actually had to get Ziggy to take a photograph of me sitting cross-legged on the floor (not easy now at my age!) so that I could get an outline to work from!
I don’t know, I really do wonder at some of the things I get up to. X
So check out INTO AFRICA SKETCHES in the Africa Series drop-down menu.