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It’s a pleasure to chat with Penny Macoun about her latest picture book release, Rollo’s Wet Surprise, and the journey of its creation. Thanks, Penny! 🙂
Congratulations on the release of your latest picture book, Rollo’s Wet Surprise!
This is a fun story of discovery, and surprises, with an underlying message around water safety. What else can you tell us about your story?
This is not just a story, it actually happened. Our builder used to bring his dog to work with him, and one morning Rocky fell in the pool. It made me think how dogs perceive pool covers, Rocky obviously had no idea there was water under the cover, or that he was about to try and walk on something that would move.
Why was this story important for you to write?
I wrote it because I found the event so funny. I decided to turn it into a book when I realised how important it could be for educating children about water safety.
What was the most rewarding part of creating Rollo’s Wet Surprise? The most challenging?
Rewarding – seeing the illustrations bring the story to life. I can visualise how I want my books to look but can’t create the illustrations myself. The illustrator always seems to take my mental images to greater level.
Challenging – breaking the story into pages. Trying to keep the text consistent on the pages and not have the text so spread out that the book becomes very long. This also means I have to consider story length when editing.
What is your favourite part of the book? Why?
This is sometimes a hard question to answer because I love all aspects of the book. I think the part I like most in Rollo’s Wet Surprise is when the family are patting Rollo. It brings back fond memories of Rocky, who the character is based on, visiting every day and coming to the back door every morning to greet us.
The illustrations by Paul Nash are full of colour and energy that truly show Rollo’s curious character. What do you like most about his illustrations, and has he captured your story the way you had hoped?
Paul has done a fantastic job on Rollo’s Wet Surprise. We talked a lot about what style to use. We both like the soft pastel look, like Beatrix Potter. While I gave a lot of guidance of what illustrations I wanted, Paul was able to capture the story, improve my ideas and captured Rollo in a way I could only imagine.
What do you hope readers gain from reading Rollo’s Wet Surprise, in terms of personal growth and educational understandings?
I hope readers will learn about the importance of being responsible and safe around water for humans and animals alike. I also hope this book will enhance a love for dogs and their cheekiness.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on three different manuscripts and have chosen the one I will publish next. Not to give too much away, but here’s a hint, it’s a fun Christmas story.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Penny! 😊
Please follow Penny Macoun at her website: https://www.pennymacoun.com.au/
Find out more about Paul Nash and his art at his website: https://www.nashyart.com/
Rollo’s Wet Surprise Surprises us with a #BookGiveaway!
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