Often it is just one personal experience that sparks an idea and then other ideas gather around that idea in a kind of soup.
One day I took my two daughters, Mhairi and Jess, to Taiaroa Head (a headland near my home in Port Chalmers) to watch the albatross flying. A big sea was driving great strands of bull kelp seaweed up against the cliffs below us and as I stared down I suddenly imagined a giant standing on the seabed with his huge hair caught in the surf.
Both my daughters, I am proud to say, are particularly creative, adventurous and forthright and at that stage Jess was mad keen on her dress-up box. I began to wonder how she might deal with the problem of that giant and his hair.
Pigtailswas completed while I held theChildren’s Writing Fellowshipat the Dunedin College of Education in 2001. The assistance I received from Creative New Zealand is gratefully acknowledged.
Pigtails The Piratewon the Picture book category at the New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards in 2003.