Author Carnavas,Peter

Item Code 8250160

Product Type Book

Format Hardback

ISBN 9781921928468


  • Description
  • Details
  • About Author
A small boy lands on the page and, quite by accident, discovers the joy and wonder of life.

Genre: General Fiction

Subject: Picture Books

Reading Level: Foundation, Lower Primary

School Year: Foundation, Year 1, Year 2

Ages: 5 to 7

Page Count: 32

Peter Carnavas

Where were you born? Where do you live now?

I was born in Brisbane and grew up there until I was ten years old. Then I lived on the Sunshine Coast and after moving around a bit, I’m back on the coast, living in a beautiful little town called Flaxton, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Where did you go to school?
I first went to Runcorn State School, then Currimundi State School, then Caloundra State High.

Did you have a nickname?
Not really.  I think some friends called me 'Peetor' for a while. I can’t remember why. I’m trying to get people to call me 'Pedro' but it’s not really catching.

What were you like in school?

I was generally a quiet kid who did the right thing. I managed to get accepted by some cool kids for a while in high school because I had long hair and could play the guitar. It wasn’t until I reached Year 12 that I found the friends I’d been looking for all along.

What is the naughtiest thing you did?
In Year One, I punched another boy for snatching my book off me. The teacher gave me a smack and I probably got another one from my parents when I got home. 

What was your favourite book growing up?

One of my favourite memories is Mrs Melville reading Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl, to our class in Year 3. I dived into books even more after that.

Who is your favourite children’s author?
I have too many now. I think Libby Gleeson’s picture book text is about as good as it gets.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
My favourite foods are mango is Summer, and chicken soup in Winter.
My favourite colour is generally blue of some sort, although I like orange and sepia tones.
My favourite movie is a really old one from 1955 called Marty.

Who inspired you to write/illustrate?
I had always drawn pictures and written short stories for no particular reason. When I started teaching I became familiar with lots of picture books and their creators, so I suppose they inspired me a lot. My wife also encouraged me to give it a go and it helped that I had three nieces and a nephew to make up stories for in the beginning.

How did you get started?
I completed a picture book course with Virginia Lowe from Create a Kids’ Book. She taught me a lot about picture books and what makes a good picture book work. At the end of the course I sent a dummy of my book, Jessica’s Box, to New Frontier and it was published a little while later.

How old were you at that stage?
I was 25 when I started the course. By the time I finished and submitted and redid all the illustrations, the book was released when I was 28. I’d also managed to get married and have two kids in that time!

Why did you want to be a writer/illustrator?
I love picture books so much and I believe they contain as much meaning, depth and wonder as any storytelling medium and I really just want to create stories that people might enjoy as much as I enjoy other picture books.

How do you think up ideas?
Ideas always come from different places but it usually involves something that gets me thinking and wondering about for a long time. It is sometimes something I feel strongly about and want to translate into a picture book, or sometimes it’s something that amuses me. Ideas occasionally pop into my head but it will usually come from something else in the beginning — a conversation, a newspaper article, something on TV or something I see when I’m walking my dog. 

Do you have a special place where you write/illustrate?
I’ve turned our single car garage into my studio (although there’s still room for a car when there’s a hailstorm on its way). I have a big workbench area at the end with my paints, sketchbooks and lightbox. It’s a few steps away from the rest of the house so it really feels like I’m going to work every day.

What is the best thing about being a writer/illustrator?
The best part about my job is being able to dream up stories and draw pictures all day. It’s also a heap of fun when I visit schools. It takes me months to work on single ideas but when I visit schools, kids come up with hundreds of ideas in minutes. 

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as a writer/illustrator?
The funniest things come from the kids in the schools I visit. A boy once said, 'Are you really 32? My mum’s 32 and she doesn’t have a beard!'

What do you do when you are not writing/illustrator?
I play music a lot and should really practise my piano accordion scales a bit more. I spend lots of time with my daughters. They sometimes let me drag them on a bushwalk, or we go to the beach. I love fishing but, luckily for the fish, I haven’t found much time to do it lately.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not a writer/illustrator?
I’d probably still be a teacher, or working in a library, hiding in the picture book section when I was supposed to be working.

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?

Dr Seuss, although he might baffle me with his rhyming tongue twisters.

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