Books bring friends together
Two friends are working on a very special collaboration.
Matamata residents Dolly Varden-Chambers and Edward (Eddy) Dean are putting a few children’s books together. Dolly writes, and Eddy illustrates.
They’ve been friends for eight years but it seems longer, judging by the banter and fun they share talking about their project. It’s very much like a brother-sister relationship.
The two are working on a few books Dolly has written, Clara the Story of a Snail and Storytime with Aunty Dolly, two books in one, as well as Nick on Stage and most recently According to Amy.
Dolly is an artist, performer, director and also has a passion for writing. She started Clara many years ago, but it was shelved.
‘‘I’ve been writing most of my life, I wrote Clara but didn’t do anything with it. After my husband died I abandoned all my things and now I am getting back into gathering all my bits of paper into books. I am determined to get them all done.’’
Dolly says she approached Eddy as she knew his artistic style would make perfect illustrations.
‘‘I can paint, but I can’t do what Eddy does,’’ she says of her friend.
‘‘He has a unique style and it really suits the books.
‘‘The pictures sell the book, as much as the story.
‘‘We enjoy what we are doing and feel quite proud,’’ says Dolly.
This is their first time working together and if their experience on these projects is anything to go by, they both agree it’s certainly not going to be the last.
‘‘We had a lot of fun doing it.’’ says Eddy.
Eddy took three weeks to work on the illustrations for Nick on Stage, completing a few pictures a day. As he reads the story, he imagines the illustrations.
Also a dedicated writer, Eddy has been putting ink to paper, or typing on an old fashioned typewriter, since he was about 11-years-old.
He has a collection of over 200 books. He says many were sellotaped together, and over the past few years, he has been getting the tattered taped pages properly bound.
‘‘It’s all for the pleasure of it. It’s the icing on the cake, if it ever gets published, or read, but I would still do it even if it didn’t. You can’t not do it. You get this idea in your mind, and there is nothing nicer than sitting down with the typewriter and getting stuck into it. You get lost.’’
Edward Dean and Dolly Varden-Chambers have produced children’s books together.