Friday 27 April 2012

High Tea with Steve and Leigh!

These lovely tea parties seem to be becoming something of a weekly fixture here at Book Sniffer HQ, The Sniffer cake stand hasn't seen this much action in ages.

This week we are lucky enough to welcome stitchy-crafty-super-beauty Leigh Hodgkinson and super-cool bonkers-as-a-bat-fish-dashing-hunk Steven Lenton to Book Sniffer Towers, What a treat!

Both currently fluffing their magnificent plumes of feathers in the Nosy Crow nest it seemed like the perfect moment to find out about them and all of their double-exciting projects! (I'll grab a bun and make myself comfortable!)

Not just an ordinary bun! it had jam in it!

Resembling something of a mad hatters tea party we decided it would be fitting not to fire them both simultaneously out of the quick fire cannon but to pop them alternately in the quick fire tea pot instead! SO here goes!

A Leigh-pot

find the Magical Mix-up books here

Cadding about at all these publisher parties must be quite tiring lets jazz it up with some fancy dress – what’s your fancy dress of choice?
Home-made superhero no question. You get the double whammy of a flappy cape and wearing pants outside your clothes (there aren’t enough occasions when this is sociably acceptable I find). Ooh and you get to wear a mask as well - what is there not to love

Tell us a secret…
I have webbed toes. I used to pretend I had verrucas at school swimming lessons so that people wouldn’t spot them. As it happens now I think that webbed toes are way cooler than verrucas… what was I thinking?!

Casting aside Facebook and Twitter which is your most frequently visited website?
i-player, blogger and etsy

Tell us about your fave book shop...
I must admit, I am partial to the big foyles in charing cross books and rays café- heavan!

In True Mr Benn style reach into our bag of hats and choose your favourite!
A 1920s style cloche hat. I just love them and they make me smile. You never see a meany-peg person wearing a cloche hat I find. Can I keep this hat please, I think it suits me.

First thing you’d grab of the cake stand?
Banana bread or the carrot cake (to keep up my five-a-day quota).
Nom Nom Nom.... droooool

If you were a cocktail what would you be and why?
Anything stripy. That way you can be greedy and have lots of flavours all at once.

What do you listen to when you are working?
I listen to radio 4 on iplayer. I am shamefully addicted to terrible radio sit-coms and the archers. I listen to music on spotify whenever I can remember the name of a band.

Best thing about being a published author / illustrator?
It is just fabulous doing something you love that is never boring or the same- being paid to fester in your own imagination and creativity is such a wonderful privilege.

Also, being able to say to people who do sensible groan up jobs, “today I drew a troll drinking tea and eating a macaroon,” and watch their expressions of utter confusion/jealousy is also quite a perk.

I consider my inability to draw horses and bikes adisability, Is there anything you can’t draw?
I share your disability. I hate drawing horses (those bendy inverse elbow things on their legs get me everytime). I also can’t draw cars (probably because I am not in the least bit interested in them).
Also I cant draw hands- they always look like a bunch of bananas- which is funny as when I purposefully draw a bunch of bananas they never actually look like a bunch of bananas. So I think the next time I have to draw a bunch of bananas I will tell my brain that I am drawing a hand- that can’t fail surely

What are you working on at the moment?
I am doing the artwork for my new picture book with Nosy Crow. It is about a troll and a little girl. I have wanted to do a book about trollywolls for ages so I am very pleased!

How did you feel when you first saw your books in a bookshop?
It was so lovely. It was like unexpectedly bumping into an old friend who you just have to go up to and hug, or was a bit like seeing something from your house out of context…. Eg “hello purple chair- what are you doing out of the living room and in a public place”.

Three tools of your trade which you couldn’t live without
Computer, dip pen, pencil.

Your book at bedtime?
We went to the brilliant roald dahl museum over the weekend I bought “Storyteller- the life of Roald Dahl” so that is me sorted for now (whoop whoop).

Best teacher you ever had?
My best teacher was Janis Goodman at the university of hull while I was studying for my degree. She was so inspiring and insightful- and an utterly amazing talented and nice person…. Go Janis!

What would you like to ask Steve?
Apart from “why have you got the same name as my husband?”
Oh a proper question you mean? Ok, “Steve, please can you pass me another piece of carrot cake.”
What? A sensible question? Ok, “Steve, what is your favourite part of making a picture book?”


*Munch munch, licks lips, dabs napkin to corners of mouth*

I think my favourite part is the character design - I could quite happily just draw the characters in different poses all day and hope that they just make a story up themselves!


Lullington Steve Lenton!

Look at that cheeky little face!

You seem like a dapper sort of chap – what’s your fancy dress of choice?
I still have fond memories of my 30th Birthday Party which had a Muppet theme - I went as Rowlf the piano playing dog - of course!

Shhhhhhhhhhhh Tell us a secret…(we won't tell .. promise)
Ducks quacks don't echo AND I am working on a book idea involving an air stewardess.

Casting aside Facebook and Twitter which is your most frequently visited website?
Amazon - if I'm not buying something I am always adding things to my wish list or shopping trolley!

In True Mr Benn style reach into our bag of hats and choose your favourite!
Mr Bean style?  *attaches fake mole to side of face* Oh sorry I misheard! I LOVE this Deerstalker AND these glittery Cat Deeley Boppers - please can I wear both?  I shall call myself Sherlock Stock and Two Glittery baubles!

What's the first thing you’d grab of this cake stand?
Ooh can I please take this lamington?  I've never had one before and they always remind me of Mrs Mangel from Neighbours.  Mmmm coconutty!

If you were a cocktail what would you be and why?
A Long Island Ice Tea - Tall and sweet but can leave a bitter after taste from sending too many emails about book cover changes!

I consider my inability to draw horses and bikes a disability, Is there anything you can’t draw?
I'm a bit pony at horses too - we should do Horse life drawing classes.  I'm now picturing a horse taking off its dressing gown, sitting bashfully on a chaise longue.

Tell us about your guilty pleasures…
Percy Pigs from M&S - I could eat three bags of them in one sitting easily.  Made In Chelsea is another - I absolutely love that programme - its so WAH (MIC reference) And Nicki Minaj - don't ask.

Which cartoon character are you most like and why?
I'm a bit like Road Runner - I never seem to stop running round doing ten things at once recently.  I don't eat bird seed though. I need a coyote to stop me for a while! I LOVE the Wile Coyote when he wears his green flying suit - cracks me up every time.

What are you working on at the moment?
I have just finished animating some cute little characters at the lovely Picasso Pictures and now I'm back into my book work - I have lots of new ideas for children's book Apps too which I'm very excited about.  I'm designing a new range of male-targeted greetings cards too which is a quite a challenge.  And I'm about to move house - yikesicles!

Five Christmas Penguins a vision in foiling available to pre-order NOW!.. DO IT!
Christmas stocking perfection!

Three tools of your trade which you couldn’t live without?
A propelling pencil - I used to be very anti these bad boys but now I absolutely love their permanently sharp state!

A sketch book with an interesting cover - I love collecting them and always have a stock pile waiting to be filled.

Radio 2 - I cant work without Ken Bruce, Zoe Ball or or Chris Evans keeping me company throughout the day.  I don't really like Steve Wright though so I listen to Nicki Minaj when he's on - don't ask

Tell us about something you don’t like ...
I don't like the tube and avoid it at all costs - the way people push and shove makes me as irritable as a Giraffe with neck ache!

Your desert island disc?
Has to be a frisbee.  Can I bring my dog Holly along so we can play catch?  If I could take a desert island disc-jockey it would be Zoe Ball.

What would you like to ask Leigh ?
Miss Hodgkinson - when is your etsy shop going to open - I have been waiting outside your virtual shop for weeks counting my pennies!

Leigh has recently published her first fabulously bonkers picture book with Nosy Crow Goldilocks and Just One Bear 
- Grab a copy NOW! You can also catch Leigh at Hay Festival this year!

Also stop by her fabulous new Etsy shop for multitudinous treats! OPENING SOON!

Stevens first book with Nosy Crow Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam publishes in 2013! You can find Steve all over the place including here! (his products on Not On The Highstreet are to die for, pop over there and take your purse!)

  • http://www.notonthehighstree

  • This is amezeballs! A real cracker and no mistake! Featuring one of the cutest pugs in picture books FACT!  

    Both Steve and Leigh were very naughty and brought lovely gifts , Badges , bags and prints and I was totally gob smacked! THANK YOU! *BLUSH*

    Swoon blush - blinkin bloomin gorge!

    VERY limited edition! I'll be the envy of Dorking!

    Can never have too many badges!

    Don't forget to join the
    Book Sniffer Facebook page!

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