I like instant coffee. It makes for a convenient, coffee-flavoured drink. Instant coffee reminds me of my teenage years – catching up on gossip round the kitchen table, eating buns and drinking something warm and brown. Of course single-origin lattes with organic frothy milk are nice too – but less instant.
2. What is your nickname?
None – these days, anyhow. I grew up in a small coastal town in north-east Scotland. A normal name was Fiona, Alison or Morag – Lucinda sounded flowery and posh. But I bore the name throughout, and so I’m bleedin’ sticking with it now – no ‘Lucy’, ‘Lulu’ or ‘Cindy’ for me!
3. What is your greatest fear?
Sometimes, after I’ve completed a gruelling household shop, I’ll ‘reward’ myself by getting a teeny little pack of chippies and eating them in the car on the way home. My fear is that I’ll choke to death on a Cheeto at the lights.
4. Describe your illustration style in ten words.
The completed artwork looks somewhat like the style originally intended.
5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer/illustrator.
Humorous, lively, emotional, quirky, warm.
6. What book character would you be, and why?
Anneka from the Pippi Longstocking stories – so I’d get to hang out with Pippi.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
1969. I’d love to see the moon landing broadcast. Even now, it just seems a remarkable – almost incredible – achievement.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Go and play with the boys – they’re more fun at this age. And they don’t care if you don’t own a horse.
9. Who is your greatest influence?
Loads of writers and illustrators. For bright picture book illustration: I really love the lively, humorous characters of Jim Field, Sarah McIntyre and Sarah Warburton (all UK illustrators). I’m always looking at their books and websites to see how they approach projects and resolve problems. But I also admire David Roberts' Gothic, detailed illustrations… Edward Gorey, of course… and the warm, engaging books of Emily Gravett, Gus Gordon and Bob Graham.
10. What/who made you start illustrating books?
Finally having some extra time (and no social life).
11. What is your favourite word and why?
‘Zanzibar’. It sounds so exotic, but also delicious – almond paste covered in dark chocolate perhaps, with rum-soaked cherries. 'Shopkeeper! A king-size Zanzibar please!'
12. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What a depressing thought! A very long one, with lots of jokes – I’d need cheering up… Have Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton put out a Treehouse collection yet? If so, I’d choose that.
Learn more about Lucinda at her website and be sure to check out her first book (with Jen Storer), The Fourteenth Summer of Angus Jack.
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