A Day in the Life: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison of Freshers

Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison have collaborated to bring us Freshers, one of the most hotly anticipated YA books of the summer from Chicken House Books. Here they address what it’s like collaborating on a novel together, tackling procrastination and the importance of reading your writing out loud.


Our typical writing day changes massively depending on which stage we’re at in the writing process. If we’re working on the first draft of a book, we don’t really even meet up in person: we will just write separately, emailing chapters back and forth and continuing the story that way, like an extremely elaborate game of ‘Consequences’.  Continue reading “A Day in the Life: Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison of Freshers”


A Day in the Life: Metaphrog – Graphic Novelists.

Our online theme for this month is Comics and Graphic Novels, so who better to kick-off insights into their illustrative lives than Franco-Scottish duo Sandra Marrs and John Chalmers? Here they walk us through their busy lives as graphic novelists and the work that goes into new releases:

On a typical day we get up at 6.30am, and work through the morning, Sandra on creating

Photo by Bob McDevitt

pages, John writing. We make sure we also dedicate some time to exercise, walking, swimming, or Pilates. Walking affords us time to discuss ideas and work out story details. Swimming is meditative and also allows creative flow. In the afternoons we write and draw respectively, and deal with correspondence. Sometimes emailing, phoning, doing essential administration and promotion are actually a great way to re-trigger creativity. We stop between 18.30pm and 22.30pm, depending on whether we’re on deadline or working closely with our publisher on pre-press work, for example. Making The Little Mermaid we worked long hours six days a week for months.

Continue reading “A Day in the Life: Metaphrog – Graphic Novelists.”

Day in the Life: Intern at Floris Books.

The first step on the publishing ladder for many is an internship, so this week we hear from Justine Bottles, who has been interning with Floris Books this year.

justine.jpgFor publishing postgraduate students wanting to break into Scotland’s vibrant publishing industry, internships and work placements are essential. When I began the MSc Publishing course at Edinburgh Napier University, I didn’t have a set idea of what I wanted to do but knew I needed to gain work experience in order to become hireable. I decided to explore marketing and with my love of children’s literature, working with children’s books made a lot of sense. When an internship opened up at Floris Books, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me. Armed with fresh InDesign skills and a vague sense of what a marketing department actually did, I threw myself into the wonderful world of children’s publishing.
Continue reading “Day in the Life: Intern at Floris Books.”