A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
So considering my first book is called Fearsome Dreamer, this may come across as a bit much, but hey presto – I get a lot of my ideas from dreams.
To me, dreams exist in a reality separate from the one we experience when awake, and to me it’s a reality just as real and valid as any other. When I was a child I lived a separate life in my dreams, a few of them even progressing in narrative form over months or years. I guess even then my brain was trying to tell stories.
At least one scene in every story I’ve written so far has come from a dream, and is usually the first scene I write. The rest of the story then grows from there. That first scene is usually modified as I get further into the pull of the story, but the essence of it remains.
It’s not just and always dreams, though. It can be anything. A film I saw, something someone said when they were walking past me, a piece of music so evocative it forms images in my mind, artwork… I think anything and everything around you gets processed and thrown back up in all sorts of ways.
And if I need a creative push, I’ll listen to music I know will transport me, go to an art gallery, or google Surrealism, or watch a film I know will make me feel strange (Davids Cronenberg or Lynch are favourites for that).
Try the dream thing. The horrible ones especially. And the ones that linger in your mind all day, tainting everything very slightly, making your waking reality, for a little while, mingle with your sleeping one to form a strange third reality where you waver between both worlds … they’re the best ones.
I’m even odd enough to put my own dreams online – have a look and contribute yours, if you like.