A winter warmer
How a haircut helped inspire the hero of a new children’s book
A boyfriend-and-girlfriend duo from the UK has collaborated on a new children’s fantasy book. The Legend of Everwinter, by author Tara Behan and illustrator Matthew Hill, tells the story of three friends on a journey to fulfil an ancient prophecy in a faraway land.
Inspired by Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, with a nod to Disney films, Matthew says his biggest challenge was to create a book visually sophisticated enough for adults to enjoy, and colourful and fun enough to capture children’s imagination.
“I decided to vary the style of each illustration in relation to the mood of the story,” Matthew says. “When something sinister is taking place, the artwork becomes muted and realistic. When something pleasant is taking place, the artwork becomes much more stylised and colourful.”
Work began on the book back in autumn 2012, but it wasn’t until the final few months of production that its overall appearance was finalised.
One of the book’s central characters is inspired by Matthew’s appearance in his younger days, when he had dreadlocks and pierced ears. And it may not be the last we’ve seen of the protagonist, with more tales from Everwinter in the pipeline.
“I’m sworn to secrecy regarding this matter,” Matthew says. “But I can say 2014 is looking very promising.”
The Legend of Everwinter (£3.99) is out now. For more information and to order your copy visit www.hamptonbond.com. ImagineFX readers can receive a 20 per cent discount by using the code ‘tarabehan’.
The illustrative style in The Legend of Everwinter varies from scene to scene, based on the unfolding action.
Artist Matthew Hill wore dreadlocks and earrings in his youth, not unlike one of the book’s main characters.