First book on road to suc­cess

Central Leader - - News - By Rhi­an­non Hor­rell

When solo fa­ther Brian Love­lock turned his hand to il­lus­trat­ing pic­ture books, he never ex­pected to end up as a fi­nal­ist in the 2009 New Zealand Post Book Awards.

Road­works, his first book pub­lished last year, is full of noisy wa­ter­colour im­ages de­pict­ing the construction of a road.

“The pic­tures came straight into my head. There is a lot of left to right move­ment. The text in­spired the pic­tures and I threw some paint around.”

He says the book is sell­ing well in the United States and he col­lab­o­rated with au­thor Sally Sut­ton, de­signer Donna Rawl­ins and il­lus­tra­tion agent San­dra Mor­ris to get it fin­ished.

“Just the feed­back from the kids is the best thing. I have had par­ents tell me it’s their kid’s favourite book.”

Mrs Sut­ton, who has been a chil­dren’s book au­thor for six years, says Mr Love­lock’s im­ages are fan­tas­tic.

“It is dif­fi­cult to make big ma­chin­ery look in­ter­est­ing but he man­aged to make them look like they are mov­ing.”

She had al­ways felt the need for a fact-based ma­chine book be­cause many in the mar­ket had plenty of in­for­ma­tion but not enough im­ages and they did not show the process of road­works.

Mr Love­lock is now wait­ing un­til May 20 to find out whether he will win the pic­ture book sec­tion of the pres­ti­gious awards.

Judges will be looking for har­mony be­tween text and il­lus­tra­tion.

With other fi­nal­ists in­clud­ing Joy Cow­ley and Mau­rice Gee, he agrees he is in il­lus­tri­ous com­pany.

Cur­rently work­ing on his fourth book, he leads a busy life work­ing dur­ing the day and il­lus­trat­ing in the evenings or on his days off.

His chil­dren, now aged 15 and 20, are too old for pic­ture books but Mr Love­lock says they had to be pa­tient while he was busy work­ing.

“I have been paint­ing all my life. This was a chance meet­ing with some peo­ple in the chil­dren’s book in­dus­try.”

De­mo­li­tion, a se­quel to Road­works, is in the pipe­line and ex­pected to be re- leased early in 2011.

He also plans to write his own books, so he can de­liver the com­plete pack­age to pub­lish­ers. •

Cen­tral Auck­land res­i­dents Melinda Szy­manik and Sarah Nelisiwe An­der­son are also fi­nal­ists in the pic­ture book cat­e­gory with their book The Were-Nana.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Suc­cess story: Brian Love­lock is pleased that his first il­lus­trated book is a fi­nal­ist in the New Zealand Post Book Awards.

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