Home Interviews Suzy-Jane Tanner for Lost in Childhood

Suzy-Jane Tanner for Lost in Childhood

by Louisa Klein

1) Why children’s books? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
I have always loved books and illustrated children’s books in particular. It was my ambition at art college to be a children’s illustrator, so I have been fortunate to make my living in the field. Since 1980, I have concentrated on picture books and In 1984 ‘Grow Up Mum!’, the first book that I wrote as well as illustrated, was published.
2) Is there a children’s author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly?
Many, but more particularly, an era, that is around the early part of he 20th century and the illustrations of Kay Neilsen, Edmund Dulac, W Heath Robinson , Arthur Rackham and Beatrix Potter.
Favourite books from my childhood, Alice, The Just So stories, Wind in the Willows and the nonsense poems of Edward Lear.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My most recent books ‘Lizzie’s Lizard’, ‘Percy’s Perfect Pijamas’ along with some baby book texts were for the Korean market. These were rather too tightly edited, so I am now developing a new project of my own. I always have several picture books in mind, but prefer not to discuss work in progress. However, I feel sure that I will shortly produce a story featuring my beloved tabby cats, Gwen and Dodo.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
I have always represented myself to publishers and for many years, had as many commissions as I could manage. However, times are much tougher now, especially as I am pickier about what I will take on and prefer not to work entirely digitally.
5) What’s your opinion about this eBook revolution?
The rights of several of my out of print books have reverted to me and have been republished as e.books by AUK, most recently ‘Beary Tales’ a set of seven rather silly fairy tale inspired stories, inhabited entirely by bears.
Would you consider the indie route?
Now that several established authors are self publishing, it seems that this has now lost some of the stigma connecting it to vanity publishing. However, for a full colour picture book, it is just not practical as the cost per copy for a short run or POD are very high.

6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
I have no objection to a publisher promoting my work in any way they like, but finding the time and energy for self promotion through the social media is a distraction from creative work. I do have a blog that is linked to my website: www.suzy-jane.com.
Info about the author:
Suzy-Jane Tanner was born in London in 1951 and attended art colleges in Paris and London, graduating in 1972. Following graduation, she spent 4 years working as a studio artist in the character merchandise department of Walt Disney Productions in London, following which she worked freelance on designs for character merchandise and as a children’s illustrator.
From 1980 Suzy has concentrated on writing and illustrating books for young children. In the early 80s she went to USA for 18 months to illustrate 2 books for Celestial Arts/Dawne Leigh (San Francisco) and in 1984 her first picture book as author/ illustrator, ‘Grow Up Mum!’, was published in UK by Minimax Books.
Since then she has written and/or illustrated around 100 books for young children, first published in UK, USA, Italy and North Korea but also published in other countries and translated into 14 languages.
Books (as author/ illustrator) include the Fred & Ursulina, Beary Tales and Nursery Elephant series for Random House, the Bunnies & Bears books for David Bennett Books, Festival flap series and Tinyflock Nursery School for Harper Collins, Counting Sheep for Tango Books and Socrates for Filippo Editore. Several of these titles have now also been published as e.Books by AUK Suzy has also illustrated many books by other authors.
She has exhibited in UK and abroad, most recently as part of the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature. In 2001, Suzy was invited to exhibit by Global Arts Link (Brisbane, Australia). The solo exhibition ‘Beary Tales: The Illustrations of Suzy-Jane Tanner’ ran from April-July 2001.
Suzy lives in London, with two demanding cats and a grumpy sculptor who happens to be her husband.
To know more, please visit her website: www.suzy-jane.com
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below:

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