Students get a look into the world of an author
LAUREN Bowen got the chance to catch a glimpse into the mind of an illustrator and author last week.
The Cathedral College student saw how an illustrator creates his characters, and how his ideas were formed into successful books.
The Year 8 student was one of hundreds who took part in a literary festival at the school last week, and got an insight into the creative world of author Leigh Hobbs.
Leigh is the creator of the Old Tom books, which most students had read during their childhood.
"At the time of creating Old Tom, I was doing illustrations in books and thought that they just didn't have a connection," Leigh said.
"Then I thought of this feral cat that I'd write about."
And that's when Old Tom was created.
"I'd been making story ideas in my head since I was a kid; I write my books as if Old Tom is a seven-year-old kid," Leigh said.
The literary festival saw Leigh join nine other acclaimed authors and illustrators to lead workshops for students in Year 8 and Year 9, including local author Royce Bond.
And for Leigh, a former art teacher, it's important to make sure kids are interested in picking up and reading books.
"It's very important to get kids reading," Leigh said.
"(Old Tom) might not be the age group for these kids, but it's good for them to start reading and to learn that everyone is different," he said.
Meanwhile, 13-year-old Lauren doesn't need any convincing to pick up a good book.
The student already has a keen interest in books, particularly mystery and fantasy.
"I like books because they take you to a different world," she said.