Welcome to The Quick Six Interview with Alison Binks!
Alison Binks is an artist, architectural designer and author/illustrator. She was born into a family of sailors in Adelaide and enjoyed a childhood never far from the sea. Alison studied design and later moved to Melbourne, and from there to New York where she worked for an international architecture firm in a Midtown Manhattan tower. She is the author/illustrator of Night Walk (Berbay 2018) and Caspar and the Night Sea (Windy Hollow, 2017). She lives in Melbourne and loves camping with her family in beautiful remote parts of Australia.
Who wrote, illustrated and published this book?
Night Walk is written and illustrated by Alison Binks and published by Berbay Books
What is it about?
Night Walk is about a small boy – curious and adventurous – camping with his family in the remote Australian bush. He explores the bush alone at night and encounters some of its creatures. It is also about friendship and connection that stretches across the world.
When is its release / launch date?
It was released in bookstores 1 November, and will be launched on 18 November at Readings Bookstore St Kilda
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
Inspiration came from watching the friendship between my son Caspar and his kindergarten friend Levi, and how they kept the other in mind, even when they were far apart.
And also from the desert and bush where we’ve spent a lot of time as a family, the night sky, the sense of remoteness that is familiar to me but not be to many readers.
Why is this book meaningful to you and why would its message resonate with readers?
My work as an artist as well as a writer/illustrator is tied up with landscape, and especially remote and precious wild places which I try to bring into the lives of those of us in cities who may not have the chance to encounter much wilderness. The story is also special to me because it is about Caspar and Levi. It shows these two small people empowered and confident within the natural world, qualities I think we’re in danger of losing as we isolate ourselves more and more within the city way of life.
Young readers I think love to see themselves as in control of their own lives, as the two children in this book appear to be. Sneaking away from adult control, and full of knowledge about the world of the animals. And the nighttime in particular holds special appeal for children – a little bit scary, a little bit wonderful. Nighttime in the desert with the vast sky is extra special.
There are layers to the story that will only be fully appreciated by older children, but I hope a sense of the magic of the world and the beauty of friendship come through for everyone.
How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?
The publisher Berbay has been working steadily away with promotion, sending it out for review and competitions, and I’ve been doing my bit trying to tap into networks I’m aware of or people I know within the book world. We are touring some of the Melbourne bookstores next week to sign books and chat to book sellers. And of course the launch will be held soon.
The book should be widely distributed through NewSouth Books and available in stores or on their websites now.