Karl Newson is a children's book writer and illustrator. Half man, half tiger, half biscuit, Karl enjoys making up stories and playing with words. He is the author of several picture books, mostly aimed at children aged 1-5, but suitable for anyone aged 1-100 and beyond. Karl is also an illustrator, although his drawing pencil currently sits dusty and his sketchbook needs filling (hurry up and draw something already, would you?!).
Karl now lives in London, but he grew up in the suburbs of Norwich, Norfolk. It was there that his imagination sparked in the adventures found in fields and dens and times spent with friends. 'Square Head Ted' is one particularly notorious bad guy from days gone by that he hopes to include in a story sometime soon.
When Karl isn’t writing stories and nonsense poetry (or supposedly drawing), he enjoys escaping his desk-under-the-stairs story-making-machine by going out for a walk, catching up with friends, talking to his next-door-neighbour’s cat, and listening to music. He dreams of castles made of books and rocketing to the moon to watch the world go by.
Karl is represented by Jodie Hodges at United Agents and has worked with the following publishers: Macmillan Children's Books, Nosy Crow, Walker Books, Stripes, Liontree Publishing, Parragon Books, Maverick, Quarto.
Here are some QUESTIONS & ANSWERS, asked by Ben (aged 9) and Jack (aged 6)...
What is your favourite colour? Red
What is your favourite food? I'm a big fan of cake and biscuits. Chocolate fudge cake is the best cake in the world!
What do you like doing? Drawing, painting, writing, and listening to my record collection. I enjoy watching David Attenborough's documentaries too, and all things space related. And walking and exploring. And adding to my picture book collection. And discovering new illustrators and authors. And of course, dunking biscuits.
If you could travel to anywhere, where would you go? The moon! I've gazed up at it in wonder ever since I was a boy. I'd love to visit one day... a rocket ride would be preferable, but I would definitely have a go at climbing a ladder if there was one.
What is your favourite picture book? That's a tough one and it changes all the time. If I had to choose just one I think it would be Julia Donaldson's and Axel Scheffler's The Snail and the Whale. The idea of a tiny sea snail hitching a ride on the tail of a whale is nothing short of brilliant. Beautiful illustrations. Wonderfully told.
What is your favourite animal? An Elephant. One of my most favourite days was the day I fed an elephant. It curled its long winding trunk around the small leaf of lettuce I held out to it, and I was, for a moment, in a world of my own. I have a little-big elephant collection at home, everything from cards to coat hooks, wood carvings to candles. You could say I'm an elephant keeper (which would be my other dream job).
Where do you get your ideas from? Anywhere and everywhere! I like the sort of ideas that come out of the blue whilst I'm busy dunking my third biscuit, usually in the middle of another project. Sometime ideas are fully formed, sometimes its just a word or a doodle that will sow the seed. I take them for a walk in my notebook and see where I end up. The best ideas write themselves. The worst ones need a little bit of time to make right. But every idea is a keeper to me. You never know where it might lead to!
What do you dislike? Mashed potatoes! Bleurrgh! I'm not so keen on sleep either. Nor my chances of going to the moon...
What do you like? Biscuits! Drawing, painting and writing, and the exciting feeling that accompanies a new idea.
Thank you, Ben & Jack!