'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Author Interview - Dave Hackett

KBR is squealing with glee to have the lovely Dave Hackett visit with this wonderful interview, which delicately picks the creative brain of this super Aussie talent. Enjoy!

Which comes first, the writing or the pics? 
The writing. The pics then help to flesh out the characters and let me know a little more about them. You can tell how a character will respond in any situation once you know that character really well, so drawing them helps lots with that.

Do you remember your very drawing you did? 
I drew a guy walking past a park bench with a girl sitting on it. The perspective was all wack-a-doodly, but I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

Did you draw a lot of funny cartoons at school and did you get in trouble from the teacher?
Yes, and yes. I struck a deal with my year 7 maths teacher where I could draw a pic on every page of my book once my work was finished. I got to be quite pacy at maths...

You write in many genre. Which style do you enjoy most?
I love to write for early teens... it's just a time that I really remember well. So many things happen at that point in your life, relationships especially - such a huge stockpile of things to write about, and so many embarrassing moments to throw in. Such fun!

What tips do you have for kids on drawing?
If you want to draw, draw! It doesn't matter if it looks like total garbage - the good news is that you can always rub out and change any parts you don' t like.

Your new book Sumo Granny Smackdown – is Granny based on anyone in particular?
Yikes - I hope not! Have you seen her? She's a total shocker!

What's the most fun about writing junior fiction books? 
Just being able to have total creative freedom - free reign to be as nutso as I want to be. Kids know when things are funny and when they're not - and I've road-tested a lot of the stuff that's in my books. The stuff that gets big laughs always stays in!

What do you like most, writing or illustrating? 
At the moment I'm just itching to write, because it's deep, deep within me - this need to write. I don't know where it came from but right now it's all I want to focus on. I have literally dozens of story ideas - some of them are thousands of words along - some for novels, picture books, graphic novels (with a cartoon Dave twist)... but it really is writing that gets me up early in the mornings.

What’s the best thing about being an author?
I'm allowed to create any characters I want to, and then get to put them into any situation I can dream up.. soooooo much fun!!!

What’s the toughest thing about being an author?
Deadlines. When the work is due, the book has to be done, so in the past I've found myself pulling 24 hour typing shifts... not pretty.

Do you do live illustration demos for kids?
That's mostly what my job is about... teaching kids in schools all over Australia how to draw cartoons.

How do kids react? 
Most kids love to draw, or at least love to try - it's such a great medium, cartooning, because there really are no rules.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I still have a long way to go. A radio DJ would be fun. A worldwide bestselling author-slash-cartoonist would be nice to have on my business card.

What’s next for Cartoon Dave?
Besides the 352 books I'm working on? New directions. I'm not one to want to be tied to the same idea for too long, so I want to try lots of new things.

There's possibly some horror stories on their way. Plus, Extreme Cartooning Workshops for kids (four hours of non-stop cartooning). I'm taking the idea to all the capital cities and loads of regional parts of Australia over the next 12 months.

What else... global domination? Nah. I'd be happy to get our veggie garden started, live off the land a little and paint and write and draw for the next few years...

See more on Dave's fantabulous work at www.cartoondave.com.au.