Gemma, what is Anthony and the Ants about?
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Anthony tries his best to out smart these clever little ants but can he...? this is a fun story about an unexpected friendship and or course a lot of food!
Tell us about your path to publication: Traditional or independent? Recently or further in the past?
I studied Illustration for children's books at NEWI in Wrexham, graduating in 2006 I joined other graduates from around the country at the new designers exhibited. Winning both the Hallmark award for illustration and the Design collections award. This was the start of a whirl wind first years and I was given my first picture book commission in August 2006. It was a fantastic start to a dream come true, I had to pinch my self now and again to make sure it was all real!
Some studies say children reading e-books are reading more, while other studies say they comprehend less of what they read. What’s your opinion or experience?
I think the more ways children can access a book the better! Personally I have always preferred actual tactile books to hold and read but I wouldn't say they are better than an E-book its just that's what I grew up reading! I think for older children it shouldn't make much of a difference as the content on both is the same however I find with small children the book its self becomes a toy something to touch, chew and also the turning of the page is exciting! which is less so on a E-book. So I think its about getting the age right really but their are elements to book and E-book that are great for all ages.
What is your target audience, and how do you believe the e-format works for that audience and serves their needs?
My target audience is between 3-7 but Anthony is for slightly younger at around 2-5years as it was intended as a board book. I think board books are great for the younger ones as their so chunky and don't break where as a tablet is not so robust! How ever even for this young age group E books are still great and give something different to the child. My friend has two young boys that are nearly 2 and they absolutely love pushing buttons on an I phone even though the button is just an image. They think it's some kind of magic! So I know they will love E-books as it's more 'buttons' to press when turning the page. For this age group as well I think a strong emphasise is on parent- child time and the E-book format does just that as you need to be their to supervise and guide. I also think the interactive E-books are fab and would love that for one of my books in the future.
What were your initial thoughts about e-publishing? Have those initial thoughts changed now that you’ve done it?
With regards my books been turned into E-Books they just appeared one day as an E-Book! I don't have a say really but its not a negative. It was actually quite exciting to see my book in a different format, I know that this is the way forward and a lot of people invest in e books so to me it means more and more people will see my work. How ever as much as I think E-books are great I will always love traditional books more and I would be very sad if they only did E-books in the future.
What does your writing schedule look like? What are you working on now?
I am working mainly on illustration projects at the moment. Anthony was my first published book as an author and illustrator and was a dream come true, I never actually thought I would be an author as I am dyslexic and words do not come naturally. However I loved writing this book and have many more story ideas in development so fingers crossed for the near future.
Learn more about Gemma by following her on Facebook or by visiting her agent's website. She also has illustrations for sale on her Etsy page.
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