This month, Bob Graham’s latest award-winning picture book, A Bus Called Heaven, is out in paperback. Here, Bob tells us a bit about where the book came from; next week, we’ll have a post on how he got started with picture books.
Where did A Bus Called Heaven come from?
There's a bus with “Heaven” on it, which I had noticed on the way to pick up my grandchildren, as I do every Thursday afternoon. It's parked alongside the road. I passed that for about three weeks, became increasingly interested in it, and I asked my granddaughter Rosie about it, because it was parked right opposite her best friend Olive's house. And she said "Oh yes, we've had a look inside."
I said "Oh, really?"
"Well, what was inside?"
She said, "Oh, a lot of candles burning in there."
And right then, the thing that interested me most of all, was not so much the bus itself or what was inside, but the image of the small child, on tiptoe, trying to peer into the windows of a bus with “Heaven” written across it.
And that was the thing that I came home and put into my notebook and that was really the starting point of the book.
And it kind of … it went on from there.
How does it continue on?
I mean it's - the process is one that I guess, as with most people writing stories, I mean you sit down there and you have a beginning, and I ask myself what happens next, what happened before, what happened afterwards, how does it, how does the whole thing sort of travel and in that, as I often say, there's a lot of looking out the window over the houses opposite and filling in the story with words, sometimes with pictures, and patching them together pretty much...I work it out as a I go along. I have a lovely old time, I do.
You make it sound like a perfect daydream.
Well, it's kind of my hobby, I love doing it, I enjoy it. And can't think whatever else I could do now.