Hi! And thank you for asking us to join you on this blog. So here we are: the mother/daughter team behind the Wendy Quill books – working EXTREMELY hard. Mina May is slaving away on her iPad whilst I am doing VERY IMPORTANT writerly work:
You see, because Mina May is only eleven, people are always asking us: ‘What was it like doing a book together? Was it really hard?’ I’m tempted to say: ‘Oh yes, of course. What with all the deadlines and having to produce pictures for a professional designer’:
And having to submit manuscripts to an editor who is ever-so strict . . .
But then I realise that I have to stop pretending.
Because the truth is, we’re having an absolute blast. Our designer and editor at OUP are AMAZING. And Mina May and I LOVE creating Wendy Quill together – she’s a little bit of both of us, I think. We’ve got the same sense of humour – so are giggling all over the place and having a bit of a ball.
This is how it works:
Mina May: ‘Were you really a crocodile’s bottom, Mum? You know, in actual real life?’
Me: ‘Erm. Well. Sort of, yes. It was for my school play: Peter Pan and Wendy. My head wasn’t big enough to fit under the front bit, so I had to go at the back.’
Mina May: ‘Oh no!’ giggling ‘But why weren’t you picked to be “Wendy”?’
Me: ‘I have absolutely no idea. I mean, I should have been Wendy. I am a real Wendy. I even look like a Wendy. And the girl they picked had straight black hair, which everyone knows is completely wrong for Wendy in Peter Pan and . . . ’
Mina May: ‘Aw, never mind Mum. I bet you were a great crocodile’s bottom.’ Starts drawing on iPad ‘How about this?’
Me: ‘Oh my giddy Aunt! That’s unbelievable!!!! That is just what it was like!’
Or, to take another example . . .
Mina May: ‘So what do “The Girly Gang” actually look like Mum? Have you written that chapter yet?’
Me: ‘No. Not quite yet. But basically, they all have their ears pierced and wear pointy shoes. It’s part of their “Girly Gang” Rules. Oh. And they’re really scared of rats.’
Mina May: ‘So kind of like this?’
Me: squeal ‘Ahhhh! Exactly like that! You’ve done it again! Perfect.’
Then we send it to our designer, the brilliant Professor Karen Stewart – and she puts the images all cleverly on the page. And then my editor, the lovely Jasmine Richards (with the gymnastic abilities, editorial brilliance and completely ‘natural arch’), reads my Wendy Quill chapters and tells me if I’m ‘cooking on gas.’
If I am ‘cooking on gas’ (and being Wendy Quillish to the core), we all get very excited and eat lots of cake! And then we get even more excited when we see the final product, tadaaaa:
And then we say, ‘Can we do another one? Please?’
So no. It’s not hard. It’s a DREAM. And we don’t really want it to stop.
Here’s a little ‘Behind the Scenes’ video so that you can see us in action. We hope you giggle over Wendy Quill is a Crocodile’s Bottom just as much as we giggled over making it.
Wendy Quill is a Crocodile’s Bottom is out now. Also available as an eBook – in full colour!
5 thoughts on “Meet the mother and daughter team behind Wendy Quill is a Crocodile’s Bottom: Wendy Meddour and Mina May”
A fantastic blog for all sort of reasons. It would a great one to use in the classroom to talk to children about the job of writers and illustrators and because Mina is only 11 (nearly 12) it is a fantastic inspiration to show what is possible. I really enjoyed reading the blog and will definitely be buying the book!
This was a wonderful read and I loved the video and photo’s, well done Mother & Daughter/ Author & Illustrator!:)
Mina May is a natural, and if I were an Illustrator Agent I’d be signing her right now (if mum would allow such a thing:) Either way, her future is a great one!!!
Thanks Nicky and Christine! So glad you enjoyed the blog and I hope you enjoy the book! (As to Mina May’s ‘career’, she’s been asking for a publisher since she was 8 and has had her own agent, the lovely Penny Holroyde, since she was 10. (Drawing is such a passion of hers that we decided we could only hold her back for so long!))
>and has had her own agent, the lovely Penny Holroyde, since she was 10<
WOW! That's what I did wrong, I tried to find an Art Rep at 50 instead of 10!!!:)
I am very sure that is a Guinness record of some kind:)
Wendy, do you know if the book will be available in Canada?
[…] we’re being joined by someone who is an illustrator rather than a writer! Huge welcome to Mina May, the 13-year-old illustrator of the Wendy Quill books! Mina is the daughter of Wendy Meddour, who […]
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