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Books By 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?
I was born in Cambridgeshire in the 1970s. My Mum and Dad still live in the house I was born in!
Where do you live & who with?
I live in Cambridge in a shared house. Sadly we're not allowed to have pets, otherwise I would have a dog!
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. If I hear something funny, I'll jot it down in my notebook. Sometimes it will stay there for several years before it develops into an idea. I love visiting galleries, watching films and drawing for visual inspiration.
Have you won any awards for your work? A Blue Peter badge and expandable sponge! - When I was about 12 I was a runner up in a competition designing a computer graphics sequence for Children's BBC. My idea of a sardine can opening was made and used for several months!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Creative, hardworking and a bit silly!
What do you do to relax?
Drawing, visiting museums and galleries, watching films, and singing along to the radio (badly)!
Where do you write?
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 two friends. Sometimes it's so hard to find any space on my desk I have to tidy up first!