Q&A with Julia Rawlinson
If you've followed us here at Graffeg for a while, you'll have heard that we published our first ever board books this year! This is a brand new and very exciting venture for us, and we can't wait for even younger readers to be able to enjoy some of our most popular characters. As Christmas draws closer and the nights get cosier, we are slowly finishing our print runs and preparing for the festive season. Our final board book of the year will be Fletcher and the Seasons by Julia Rawlinson and Tiphanie Beeke, which hits the shelves next week! We recently got to chat with the lovely Julia about all things Fletcher and board books. Thank you Julia for answering all of our questions!
Q: Where did the initial idea for the character of Fletcher come from?
A: I had the idea for the first Fletcher’s Four Seasons story, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, when my young son picked up an autumn leaf and asked me to fix it back onto its tree. That was the spark for the story and character, but Fletcher also reflects my childhood self – I remember being a bit of a worrier and caring deeply about nature.
Q: Do you have a favourite book in the series? Why?
A: I love them all! But if I had to choose, it would have to be Fletcher and the Falling Leaves as it’s the book which launched Fletcher on his adventures. It’s also the book which has travelled furthest and I get so many heart-warming messages about what it means to people. More recently, Fletcher and the Rainbow has brought me a lot of happiness – ever since I wrote it, I’ve been spotting nature rainbows wherever I go. I find looking for colours in nature very calming and it makes me look more closely at the natural world.
Q: The first Fletcher board book, Fletcher and the Seasons, will hit the shelves later this month. How do you feel?
A: I’m very excited about Fletcher’s adventures, and Tiphanie’s gorgeous illustrations, being accessible to the very youngest book lovers – it’s never too soon to start exploring books and discovering more about our wonderful world. I was so happy when I received my copies of Fletcher and the Seasons – it’s even brighter, shinier and more joyful than I imagined!
Q: What is your favourite season?
A: There are things I love about all the seasons, but my favourites are spring and autumn, the seasons of change. I don’t think I can choose between the lightening, brightening hope of spring and the golden cosiness of autumn.
Q: How was the process of creating and publishing a board book different to that of a picture book?
A: It was very different! For a Fletcher picture book, the story comes first and I have the freedom to write whatever I want. I do think about possible illustrations, but I can follow wherever the story takes me. For the board book, we were using existing illustrations so my words had to follow the pictures – a very different process, but a lot of fun. It was an absolute joy looking through Tiphanie’s glorious artwork, thinking about which images to use.
Q: If you could describe the Fletcher series in just 3 words, which would you use?
A: Kindness, empathy, nature. Or kindness, nature, discovery? Is that cheating because now I’ve got four words?