Nicola Killen - Author Picture

Nicola Killen - Author

Nicola has always loved drawing and still likes nothing better than taking her sketchbook to the zoo to draw her favourite animals – rhinos and penguins of course! Nicola was designing Christmas cards before she started an MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. Her final show won Egmont's Best New Talent Award and since then she has been working on her own picture books. In her spare time Nicola enjoys cooking for friends, visiting museums and singing (but only in private!). She lives and works in Cambridge, England.

A Q&A with Nicola

Where & when were you born?

Barton, Cambridge 25/2/1971 (my parents still live in the house I was born in)

Where do you live & who with?

I live in Cambridge in a house I share with 3 friends I met on my MA course

How did you first start writing/illustrating?

I've always loved drawing. I did a degree in Graphic Design but specialized in illustration. I spent 18 months training to be an accountant after university but following a holiday to Cornwall decided to try and make a living from illustration. I started making handmade cards, then designing cards for publishers. After working in-house at a couple of design companies for 7 years I decided to apply for the MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge. When doing the course we were encouraged to come up with our own ideas to illustrate and that's how I started writing.

What inspires you?

I tend to be inspired by little things that people say or do. I love visiting galleries, watching films and drawing for visual inspiration.

Have you won any awards for your work? The Egmont Award on my MA course A Blue Peter badge and expandable sponge! - When I was about 12 I was a runner up in a competition for ideas for a computer graphics sequence for Children's BBC. My sequence of a sardine can opening was made and used for several months!

How would you describe yourself in three words?

I don't know.

What do you do to relax?

Going to the cinema, reading (quite a new discovery for me), visiting friends, drawing at the zoo.

Where do you write?

If you have a photo, feel free to include it! I write anywhere - I make notes in a notebook or sketchbook if I get an idea so I don't forget it! When I have an idea, I'll start to develop a sequence of pictures to go with it and this usually happens in my "studio" which is a small office I share with a friend. Sometimes it's hard to find any space on my desk!

Featured Books, with extracts, by Nicola Killen

Animal Opposites
Nicola Killen
Small hands will be tempted by this charming interactive book which reveals opposites through attractive opening flaps. Some are obvious – a big elephant and a tiny mouse – but others are more imaginative and humorous. Nicola Killen's illustrations are...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Board book | Released 29/08/2013
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Animal Noises
Nicola Killen
A delightful catalogue of animal noises is revealed behind the flaps of this pleasing board book. Each animal leaves a teasing clue outside the flap. Young readers will enjoy guessing what they will find before they uncover it.
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: Baby and Toddler | 3+ readers
Format: Board book | Released 29/08/2013
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Animal Colours
Nicola Killen
A beautiful introduction to colours as they appear on different animals. Sturdy flaps add an engaging interactive activity to this attractive guide to the different colours. Opening the flaps encourages children to look closely and to learn to predict a...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: Baby and Toddler
Format: Board book | Released 02/04/2012
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Animal Numbers
Nicola Killen
April 2012 Book of the Month. A big and bold board book with robust flaps which make a good interactive introduction to the first five numbers. Lovely images of different animals help children count from 1-5.
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Board book | Released 02/04/2012
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Fluff and Billy
Nicola Killen
A stunning new picture book from a hot new talent in children's illustration, recently shortlisted for the Nottingham Children's Book award with her stunning Not Me!. It's a beautifully observed story of friendship and forgiveness, which toddlers and young children will...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/10/2011
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Not Me!
Nicola Killen
This is an utterly delightful picture book from a bright new talent found by a publisher who seeks out new talent from the MA Illustration course in Cambridge. The clever interaction of the illustrations with some very simple text make...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/05/2010
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