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Sarah Coppings Interviews Niki Daly

Elsa and the Little ThingamajigNiki DalyThe finished product Children’s author Niki Daly’s latest work, Elsa and the Little Thingamajig, is illustrated by Joan Rankin and was recently released in a series of launches, including in Cape Town.

Now, in an interview with Sarah Coppings, we learn that what inspired Daly to write Elsa was actually Rankin’s drawings, and that this is in fact mostly the case – that “what inspires Daly when he writes books are the drawings”.

The author can be seen carrying around a notebook whenever he goes out. This is perhaps not unusual for an author – but what is unusual is that, for Daly, a character will speak to him and say “I’m a good character, I will not disappoint you”:

Daly didn’t want to become an illustrator at first. He wanted to be a rock star and in the 1970s he recorded two albums in London.

He has always loved drawing. Growing up, he didn’t have any sketch books and used to draw in the columns of newspapers. He went to art college and became a graphic designer, working in advertising, but he always felt that it was a waste because people would throw magazines away. So he started illustrating children’s books and with that he started writing. Daly felt that his pictures were now in a safe haven because people don’t throw books away.

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