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PAM ROYDS 1924 - 2016

Pam Royds on Grasmere , 1971 with Sally Christie, children’s author and daughter of Philippa Pearce. I was just twenty two when I fir...

About Me

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United Kingdom
My blog is about writing and illustrating children's books which I have been doing since 1974. www.gillianmcclure.com has all my books. I also have another blog: www.paulcoltman.blogspot.com where I publish my father's poems.

Sunday, 31 March 2013


 Last week I gave a talk to Creative Writing students at Westminster University who wanted to hear about an author/illustrator running a small publishing company. Was it possible to be both creative and entrepreneurial? There was a lively discussion and it was obvious that many of the students, some of them already published writers and journalists, were seeing the advantages of being ‘creative entrepreneurs’ in a fast changing publishing world.
    My feeling is, you lean more on one side or the other; you are either creative or entrepreneurial. The only way I can easily be both is to split my day; mornings I’m creative, afternoons I’m an entrepreneur. But it takes a lot of will power, at lunch time, to tear myself away from my creative work. In my battle between being author/illustrator and publisher, the author/illustrator in me always wins and I find myself, late afternoon, slipping back with relief to the comfort of the drawing board. This is the reason I have decided not to expand Plaister Press and publish other people’s books. I couldn’t bear to lose those creative mornings.

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Font is what you use, and typeface is what you see
Here is Lisa Kirkham sharing the latest Plaister Press book, We’re Going to Build a Dam with her daughter, budding writer, Hannah. Lisa is the typographic designer for Plaister Press books.
    We had a lot of fun with the typographic design of this book, bringing about an interplay of text, image and typeface, all feeding into the narrative. Here, the lettering is used graphically and it follows the movement of the stream.
My illustrations are done in watercolour with a strong ink line that Lisa matched with the font, Compendio. This has a rough, broken line; scruffy like the little boys on the beach. A gradation of tone is used to enhance the text; here the paler tone of the word ‘sand’ suggests a substance of a different texture to boulders and rocks:
And here, Lisa managed to get the feel of 'grit' with tiny dots:

Here it's all about sound; making the lettering imply sound in an illustrative way.
When, at the end of the story, the dam is breaking up, the lettering becomes increasingly tied in with the action in the way it is angled and positioned.
One of the things I've enjoyed the most since starting my own publishing company has been working with a typographic designer at the planning stage of a book.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


We're Going to Build a Dam has been published!

Follow the link below to read all about this new book and also the three other Plaister Press books:
in Anthony Haynes'  Creative Writing Studies:

Thursday, 7 March 2013


Reading a book to a bear on World Book Day might appear  to be more relaxing than doing five workshops in a school but the children listened far better than the bear and were so much more enthusiastic about books that I was glad I  was in school today. Happy World Book Day wherever you are and however you're spending it!