Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a Melbourne based author/illustrator/designer devoted to giving my young readers modern, fun, quirky and conceptual stories. I recently won the story board category in the Scribbles Creative Writing Competition and was a highly commended finalist in the Andrea Pinkney Award. My debut picture book Colouroos, published by Hachette has just been released.

 

Who or what inspired you?

The inspiration to write came when my son was a baby, I remember buying ‘I want my hat back’ by Jon Klassen and being really impressed. It looked so simple (it’s not) and it was so impactful. I was naïve enough to think I could write and illustrate a book myself. Sometimes naivety is a blessing! Of course, there was a whole lot of learning along the way, but I think it’s best I didn’t know ‘exactly’ how hard it was going to be, or I might never have started.

 

What has been your journey up to this point?

Once I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing and illustrating picture books I did some googling and discovered some fantastic courses and those courses mentioned SCBWI, so I joined. Through SCBWI and the friends I made, I was introduced to many wonderful courses, competitions and conferences including the CYA conference which is where I got the contract for Colouroos with Hachette.

 

What are you working on now?

I’m really excited about what I’m working on at the moment. I don’t currently have any contracts, but one good thing about being an author/illustrator is that you get to keep working on your picture book while you play the waiting game.

As a child, what was your relationship with books?

I have lots of happy memories of my dad reading to me every night, Mem Fox’s Possum Magic was a favourite and ‘Possum Magic’ was my dad’s nick-name for me.

 

What is the most important thing about what you do?

I’m really proud of the underlying message in Colouroos – that we’re all the same no matter the differences. My husband is from Argentina and we have a son together so it was a message close to my heart.

 

What are the challenges you face in this industry?

There are many, but it’s worth it – Let’s just say I’m thankful to have a day job I enjoy (I’m a graphic designer), it keeps the money coming in and keep my mind off all the waiting and not-knowing.

 

What advice can you offer to aspiring authors?

Go to the conferences, enter competitions, network, but remember you don’t need a contract to enjoy the friendships and creative work you make in the process. Love the journey, because it’s such a long road.

 

What is your definition of success?

Getting positive feedback from the ones that matter, the kids. Recently a former colleague told me that her daughter had asked for Colouroos to be read to her every night. To me, that’s the best feedback I can get.

 

What is your ultimate goal?

I’d love to have a body of work that I’m really proud of, and to keep making books until I’m a little old lady.

Contact Anna

Website: https://annamcgregor.com.au/

Blog: https://annamcgregor.com.au/blog/

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