As you know, I am a huge fan of The Gentleman Bug. You've probably been asked this question a gazillion times, BUT what gave you the idea for writing and illustrating The Gentleman Bug?
While waiting for a story idea to come to me, I filled several sketchbooks full of characters and settings in an effort to give The Gentleman Bug a world to live in. Later on, after my first book, The Little Matador was released, my editor and I got together to brainstorm new picture book ideas - she really liked The Gentleman Bug and pushed me to come up with a story. In the end, I really just wanted a story that allowed me to feature all of my favorite characters and locations from the original world building sketchbooks, and, as you can't have a gentleman bug without a lady bug, a light romance felt appropriate. The addition of the library was a play off of one of my earliest ideas, where I thought that it would be fun to tell a story about a group of feral bugs who learned how to read and become civilized.
Julian Hector: I can't really point to a single thing that inspired me to create picture books. I think that my isolated, son of biologists, surrounded by animals and mountains of drawing paper upbringing helped to groom me for this life. There are a lot of creative types who say that their profession chose them, and I think that sentiment could apply to me, too. I entered design school wanting to be an architect, but slowly realized that writing and illustrating was the more harmonious and least painful thing for me to do - though, I would really love it if someone asked me to design a concert hall or Guggenheim satellite location.
I love to reread The Story of Ferdinand. It's my "if there was a fire in your apartment and you only had time to grab one book" book.
Julian Hector: I can! I'm slowly finishing the illustrations for a bilingual, Spanish/English fairy tale anthology for Harper Collins, and I'm working on two of my own picture books; one about a scorpion, and the other about a mouse who is half tricycle, and I'm working on a short internet-based picture book written by Leslie Muir (author of C.R. Mudgeon), which she and I are giving away for free in a couple weeks.
Author-illustrator Julian Hector was born in Los Angeles, grew up in rural Texas, and graduated from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. His debut picture book, The Little Matador, was published in 2008. Julian lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and you can visit him online at www.julianhector.com. - Bio taken from here.
Julian Hector illustrated Monday is One Day.
I'm giving away two books: The Gentleman Bug and C.R. Mudgeon.
* If you win The Gentleman Bug OR C.R. Mudgeon, I will send you an email.
* You must be at least 13 to participate.