S.O.F.A. member France Bauduin has beautifully illustrated Marilyn Edwards book White Chin. Behind each book there is a story, not just the story it tells but how it came to life. Here is how it all started for France…
“I first met Marilyn Edwards as a fan of her well known Cats of Moon Cottage but we soon became good friends. Having already drawn her four cats, Fanny, Titus, Pushkin and Gilly, she turned to me once Peter Warner, the artist who had illustrated her four previous books died suddenly. Originally, the book was supposed to be called Blue after one of Peter’s dear Russian Blue cats but my skills as a cat artist were not equal to the task as I could then only draw what I saw.
So the book became White Chin, after one of Spooky’s tuxedo kittens who had recently been adopted by a friend of mine living near a wood. It fitted perfectly the book premises: the story of a cat being abandoned by his owners and forced to live in the wild. It was a true collaboration where Marilyn would often write a description to fit my drawing rather than the other way around. We started in autumn 2007, found a publisher (Catnip) in 2009 and after numerous rewrites, drawing alterations and hundreds of emails, finally got published in 2010. ”
White Chin generated enough interest for our publisher to ask for a companion book and so was born Magnificat, which tells the story of a little cat alone and afraid in an unfamiliar town. She takes refuge in the local church where she meets Ben, a boy hiding from problems at home.
Magnificat was both easier and harder than White Chin. Easier, because we already had a publisher and I could use my own cat Laila as model for Magnificat. It was also harder because this time, my drawings had to please both the editor and the author who had often very different ideas of how the illustration should look. At times, it could be very frustrating but we got there and Magnificat was published in June 2013.
While copies of White Chin and Magnificat are available on Amazon, you can get signed copies from the author by ordering these directly from her website http://www.thecatsofmooncottage.co.uk/buy-cat-books/ or emailing France.