Horses, Vertigo and Dull Books
Neigh! Before you ask, I’m not blogging about mystery meat lasagna. I’m…. wait a minute… ahhh… ahhh…
Sniff. I’m blogging about my new book. I should be well into writing it by now, but because of the subject matter and additional research I’m seriously behind schedule. In the past I’ve written about artists, musicians, actors, fashion designers, emo teens and stressed-out families – all things very familiar to me. This time I’m exploring stuff I usually avoid like crazy, like horse riding and mountaineering.
(I’m sometimes asked to illustrate books about horses but DO NOT to draw them from life. See proof above!)
Why do I usually avoid these things? Well…
1. I’m horribly allergic to fur and feathers. Simply put, I sniff, itch, gag and wheeze in close proximity to animals and birds. I don’t have to touch or stroke them, just being in the same room (or field) is enough to set me off.
2. I’m also stupidly afraid of heights. Climbing the stepladders to my loft turns me into a shivering heap. I get panic attacks in high heels. Honest.
So, why am I researching ponies and dangling off cliff faces? Well, partly because these things gatecrashed my plot notes and hung around for a while then seemed to push the story in an interesting direction, so I let them stay. And partly because I like a challenge. Life would be so dull if we did the same things all the time and my books would be dull if I wrote the same stories and drew in the same style. I’d get bored too. Of course, the new book will contain plenty of artists, musicians, actors, emo teens, stressed-out families and illustrations as well. I just might do the pictures in crayon. Or collage. Or…
Do you read or write about the same things all the time? And are there subjects or genres that you avoid?