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Fiona Ross - Author

About the Author

Fiona Ross studied illustration at Harrow College of Art before going on to the Royal College of Art to specialise in design for film and television. It is here that Fiona’s TV and Film career began. From designing for BAFTA nominated projects to storyboarding and making models for cinema blockbuster’s Fiona has done it all. She has now turned her talent to children’s book illustration. Originally from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, Fiona now lives in London. 

A Q&A with the author...

1)Where did you get your inspiration from for Hyde and Squeak?   The lovely team at Little Tiger Press (Barry, Jude and Dana) asked me to think up some ideas for a ‘gothic’ children’s picture book. I was incredibly excited as it’s an area I’ve always been interested in, plus it was a challenge in needing to find a story and characters that leaned more towards humour than fear due to the young age group. I started off with what the term ‘gothic’ meant to me, I was drawn towards classic horror stories due to their memorable stories, strong characters that dripped in ‘gothic’ atmosphere. Dracula, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Frankenstein. I also (very happily) watched an abundance of old black and white films from 1920’s to 1950’s. Immersing myself in everything horror related gave me lots of ideas, then myself and the Little Tiger team discussed my suggestions for stories and characters which had the most potential to develop into a ‘gothic’ picture book. We all agreed there were elements in the original Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde that could be adapted to create the story of Hyde and Squeak that could be developed further.  As the development continued I started thinking about interesting people around me and their quirky personalities.  Growing up I was attracted to anything remotely scary from Doctor Who, Scooby Doo, Carry on Screaming, all of these fond memories returned and were very inspirational, just like the Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett, this was my first vinyl record when I was four years old. When working hard on the book I played crazy tune every now, and then I absolutely love it’s bonkers tone and humour - it’s a must every Halloween in my house!

2)What was your favourite part of Hyde and Squeak to illustrate?  When you work on a book this can change, at first it was the shadowy
transformation of Squeak to Hyde. I like the simplicity and the reader knows exactly what Granny is witnessing. This was inspired by low budget horror and sci-fi films and not seeing the monster for it to be scary, I think this idea works here. But looking back my favourite part to illustrate was the black and white spread where Hyde is out and about looking for food, I like the comedy on these pages, plus I’m drawn to this image as I love drawing architecture and there’s a butchers shop across the centre. Also I think this image shows Hyde’s charac- ter at his best... and he’s pretty desperate to get his hands on those sausages!

3)Have you always wanted to be an author/illustrator?
  3: When you grow up you want to be all sorts of things, I’ve gone from wanting to
being a gymnast, ice cream van driver and archeologist. Looking back I’ve always enjoyed drawing and remember being over the moon when I did a pencil sketch of a parrot (around the age of nine), and it was put on the school wall. I will admit to not being particularly very good but because I enjoyed it, I drew more and more until things improved. Drawing and painting has been the one constant thing I’ve always loved and enjoyed.
Honestly, I never thought I’d write, I only ever wanted to illustrate. I really enjoy coming up with story ideas and characters, so my agent and Walker Books encouraged me to give a go. I’ve illustrated short story in an anthology, and I’d still love to illustrate someone else’s
picture book story as the experience is very different but in a good way.

4)What is your favourite thing about being an author/illustrator?   Ooh, this is tough, there’s lots of things. I’m very lucky to be able to do a job that I simply love. I like the thought of getting up and each day being different which it more or less is. I appreciate going to exhibitions or catching a film matinee as it can be research for your next project. You also get to meet some really interesting, talented artists and have some very bizarre conversations regarding work. I had a few peculiar chats about Hyde and Squeak involving disgusting jelly toppings, moustaches and parping - I just hope no one overheard! I do really enjoy working from home, so thank goodness I’m very focused and don’t get distracted easily. I appreciate the quiet surroundings and not being disturbed. It’s rather nice being able pop out for fresh air if you need it, and I can make as many cups of tea I can manage!

5)Where do you like to work?   It all depends what I’m doing. If I’m at an early stage of an idea I like to find a comfy chair and draw. I pile up my research and reference around me and make an awful mess. I sometimes like to draw with a familiar movie on in the background.
When a project develops and gets more serious I move into my proper work space where I have all my materials easily at hand. This can include anything from paints to model making bits and pieces. I find it relaxing to listen to the radio or movie soundtracks at this stage. It’s all too easy to lose track of time and get lost in your work! I’ve recently moved and have a fairly large studio space. It is taking some time to adjust to this new environment - it gives me a good excuse to sneak off to find that comfy chair to curl up and draw in.

Featured books by Fiona Ross

Other books by Fiona Ross

Perversion A Jungian Approach

Perversion A Jungian Approach

Author: Fiona Ross Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/07/2019

Theoretical understanding of perversion is neglected in analytical psychology, and narrowly developed in psychoanalysis, where it traditionally refers to sexual perversion. Etymological exploration of the word perversion , including its use in religious, moral, sociological and legal contexts, reveals a wider meaning than that adopted in psychoana

Understanding Perversion in Clinical Practice Structure and Strategy in the Psyche

Understanding Perversion in Clinical Practice Structure and Strategy in the Psyche

Author: Fiona Ross Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/07/2019

Understanding Perversion in Clinical Practice is a volume in the eagerly anticipated clinical practice monograph series from the Society of Analytical Psychology. Aimed primarily at trainees on the psychotherapy and psychodynamic counselling courses, those compact editions will be invaluable to all who wish to learn the basics of major psychoanalytic theories from an integrated viewpoint. The authors are Jungian analysts trained at the SAP, highly experienced in both theory and practice. Perversion is a concept that defies simplistic classification. This monograph provides a comprehensive study of the nature of perversion and the therapeutic relationship needed for treatment. Case studies are used throughout to illustrate aspects of perversion and notable psychoanalytic theories are detailed for greater understanding of what perversion is and how it can be treated. Female perversion is explored in a separate chapter as the symptoms and underlying reasons are quite different from those in male perversion.This is a helpful and succinct exploration of perversion in its numerous manifestations that provides a firm foundation in the subject.

Emotion Lotion The Simple Guide To Mental Hygiene And Retaining Your Sanity

Emotion Lotion The Simple Guide To Mental Hygiene And Retaining Your Sanity

Author: Fiona Ross Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2017

Dining with the Rich and Royal

Dining with the Rich and Royal

Author: Fiona Ross Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/12/2016

Dining with the Rich and Royal is a marvelous journey into the gastronomic peccadilloes of the great, the good, and the not-so-good. When the world is at your feet, what is on your table? Dining with the Rich and Royal serves up the glamour of the jet set on a plate, from the silver spoon to the last Kleenex wipe. We follow the food adventures of Hilton, Hefner, and Howard Hughes; the great transatlantic dynasties: Onassis, the Vanderbilts, the Astors and the Rothschilds. Royals watchers and history twitchers will find out the effect of too many fairy feasts on Ludwig of Bavaria; how Hirohito and Ibn Saud tasted East-Meets-West diplomacy. Would you try the cake that killed Rasputin or suck on a suicide sweet with Antony and Cleo? Was it sex or raspberry souffle that won Mrs. Simpson a king's heart? It's all here: a succession of abdications, executions, revolutions, coronations, tales of toothache and posh picnics spiced with the odd military coup or two. Mind your manners now.

Dining with Leaders, Rebels, Heroes, and Outlaws

Dining with Leaders, Rebels, Heroes, and Outlaws

Author: Fiona Ross Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/05/2016

Dining with Leaders, Rebels, Heroes and Outlaws is a marvelously funny journey into the gastronomic peccadilloes of the great, the good, and the not-so-good. Based on the findings of the British gastro-detective Fiona Ross, the Dining with Destiny series establishes a new genre: the food biography, with scandals, recipes, and their stories, allowing you to taste the culinary secret lives of presidents and prime ministers; dictators and revolutionaries; heroes and geniuses - and serve them up at your own dinner table. From Winston Churchill to Malcolm X, Golda Meir to Albert Einstein, and more, each of these figures took part in landmark historical and cultural events that have shaped and defined our way of life - but they also had to eat. Now it is time to look at their plates to discover what makes them a revolutionary, a hero, a rogue! Dining with Leaders, Rebels, Heroes and Outlaws lets you taste what's on Darwin's fork.

Dining with the Famous and Infamous

Dining with the Famous and Infamous

Author: Fiona Ross Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/03/2016

Dining with the Famous and Infamous is an entertaining journey into the gastronomic peccadilloes of celebrities, stars, and notorious public figures. From outrageous artists to masterpiece authors, from rock stars to actors - everybody eats. Based on the findings of the British gastro-detective Fiona Ross, this volume explores the palates, the plates, and the preferences of the famous and infamous. Including recipes and their stories in the lives of those who cooked, ordered or ate them, Ross invites you to taste the culinary secret lives of people like Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Sinatra, and Woody Allen, among many others. Food voyeurism has arrived. If you've ever wondered whether George Orwell really swigged Victory Gin or whether cherries played their part in the fall of Oscar Wilde, then Dining with the Famous and Infamous will satisfy your appetite. 'Marilyn Monroe becomes a different kind of sex goddess when you discover she tried to eat her way out of Some Like It Hot with aubergine parmigiana: every curve you see on film is a protest (plus early signs of pregnancy!). You can recreate a 'Get Gassed' afternoon cocktail with Andy Warhol and Truman Capote; shake up the chocolate martini Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson invented on the set of Giant; and even relive the Swinging Sixties with the foodie tales, hedonism and hashish cookies of Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. Who wouldn't want to sit at the table of their favorite film star, writer, artist or warlock and taste a piece of their lives?

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