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