Meet the illustrator – Anthony Wallis

There is a lot more involved in illustrating a book than I realised, so I’ve asked my illustrator to give us a glimpse behind the scenes.

“After receiving the brief, the crucial first step is to rough sketch some pleasing compositions that illustrate the scene described to me. I start to pull together some reference photos at this stage (more on this later) to help me realise the development of each sketch. I select a couple of the more successful sketches and pass these on for approval.

The next stage is more difficult. As I don’t own a husky or know anyone that does, nor do I live near a zoo with wolves, I rely on LOTS of reference photos to make sure the various characters look like real animals. For a single, finished drawing for the Akea books, I am probably referring to between 20 and 50 photos. The characters are well defined in the books, so this has to be reflected in the illustrations.

Each animal has its own look and achieving consistency is important. Sometimes there’s a challenge working out how a hair pattern I designed for one illustration works when the same character is in a different position for another illustration.

I am used to illustrating books on the supernatural and cryptozoology, but working on the Akea books has been a refreshing experience and I hope to work more in the field of wildlife illustrations in the future.”

Anthony Wallis:

Indie Author Week – Meet Sue Wickstead

I’d like to introduce you to some lovely children’s #IndieAuthors. It was a pleasure to chat with them, and I hope you will enjoy learning about them and their books. Don’t forget to #sharethebooklove. Here’s my first author:

Sue Wickstead  with Jay-Jay Playbus stories for 5-8 year-olds

sue wickstead

Find out more at Sue’s website:

Or on social media:  Facebook    Twitter    Instagram

Waterstones      WH Smiths      Amazon UK




Interviews & News

Between holidays and family health issues, the Month of May has flown past in a blur and my May News failed to appear, but fear not – June News is going to make up for it.

I have some more exclusive illustrations to share with those who have downloaded chapter 1 of my next book, Akea – His Mother’s Son (Click here if you’ve missed that). They are amazing, so watch out for those. June is Indie Author Month and I’m planning to introduce you to some of the wonderful children’s authors I have met recently.  And finally, I am delighted to share an interview of my own which, though short, delves a little more into my autism. My thanks to Rachel Pudsey for this.


1. Tell us about yourself and your work

I always knew I had a unique take on life, but it wasn’t until I was 18 that I was diagnosed with Aspergers. I was among the last individuals to be diagnosed with this specifically, before the general diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) became the preferred term. Read More…

Guest blogging

It’s always a pleasure to provide a guest blog. Here’s an extract from my most recent contribution.

“Akea is born into a family of sled dogs, but there is something unique about her. Her father captures it best when he surmises: “Akea was different from the other pups. She felt special even though he didn’t know why.” Akea senses this difference when she first sees a lone wolf by the name of Kazakh. It’s then she realizes that her true destiny lies beyond the relative safety of her sled dog family. Kazakh’s role is to help her discover her place in the world, but doing so goes against the rules and norms of wolf society and could even cost him his life.”

You can read more of my guest blog at and you may find your next great read there too.

For the love of dogs…


My autism quote today is by Stuart Duncan.  Again, this is a quote I can really relate to. Despite having some marvellous reviews of my first book, Akea – The Power of Destiny, I am still firmly convinced I can’t do anything right. I’m not sure that opinion will change when my second book, Akea – His Mother’s Son, is published either.

While I find it hard to be proud of my writing achievement, I am proud of the relationship I have with my Shi Tzu, Kizzy. We have been together since she was 7 weeks old and we are never apart for long.  She is incredibly intelligent for her breed and so quick to learn.  She is my world. 

She wears the bandana all the time, but the hat belongs to Woody from Toy Story. This figure sits on top of the arm chair.  His string no longer works, but every so often he relates one of his favourite phrases without any assistance – spooky or what! Kizzy has learnt so many clever tricks, and I can pose her in any position I choose and she won’t move until I say so. Today, she is Woody’s friend – Kizzy The Cowgirl.