Nat Blog

(It’s the Way that You Do It!)

The Idea Develops

The Idea Gets Some Interest

The Idea Takes on a New Direction

The Story Emerges

A Commitment From a Publisher

Checking the Text

Finding the Characters

Finding the Characters

Getting the Paints Out

All About Line Drawing

Finding the Painting Style

A Happy Accident

Choosing The Colours

6 - Nat the ‘Stray’ Cat Finds a Home
A Commitment From a Publisher

April 2010


When my publisher asked me to come up with a new character-based series (see here) I would never have believed that less than three weeks later I would be back in their office showing a dummy book of new story featuring a new character just as they had requested. In fact, Nat has turned out to be such a strong character that other stories featuring him have been suggesting themselves to me so I have the makings of not just a new book, but a whole new series.


Nat the Cat’s path to publication takes on some unexpected turns, however: For various reasons he passes through the hands of two publishers and ends up on the back burner while I work on a new idea for a book called Six Little Chicks. While pitching this to my old friend and editor Sue Buswell (who now works for Random House), I pull out my Nat the Cat dummy for her feedback on it. I have learnt from past experience that I can never really know who is going to like which (if any) of my ideas; now all the love, care and time I’ve invested in Nat comes down to this moment.


Nat Sketch with BasketI watch Sue’s face closely as she reads the dummy and within minutes, from the look in her eyes and the little smirks which pass across her lips, I can tell that she ‘get’s’ Nat. This is not to say that the idea is perfectly formed yet but that Sue sees the same potential in Nat as I see and I’m confident that she can help me realise that potential. Hooray! After many twists and turns along the path Nat has finally found his home.

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