First First Interview With Me about Hereville!

Desirous of Everything has posted their “first first” interview with me. That one’s from a while ago, I think, but it’s nice to see it online. Here’s a sample:

Question: I personally, loved Pig. I love how much expression he portrays before he even speaks. And then when he spoke for the first time, I think I was just as surprised as Mirka was! Can you talk about your process of creating him?

Answer: I knew that I wanted the witch to have a familiar, an animal friend. But it took me an amazingly long time to decide on a pig! I went through so many ideas… a cat, a ferret, a goat. In retrospect, it seems silly, because a pig is so perfect.

Because the pig is Mirka’s antagonist for so much of the story, I knew right away the pig had to be sort of prickly and easily annoyed. More of her personality came out as I sketched and wrote for her.

When it came time to draw the pig, I was so intimidated! It’s hard for me to draw a pig well. What helped me a lot was buying a half-dozen little realistic pig toys that I could hold in my hand and use as models for the character.

Click over to read the whole thing.

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7 Responses to First First Interview With Me about Hereville!

  1. 1
    Mandolin says:

    I have a vague memory of arguing you out of a different kind of animal for the familiar… and linking to this as part of the process: http://www.redwombatstudio.com/wpg2?g2_itemId=348

  2. 2
    Mandolin says:

    I can’t think of the right words to turn up the conversation (though I know we at least talked about it), but my gchat search *does* prove that we use the word “goat” in IM with each ohter much more often than I’d have thought.

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    I remember that a little (and that drawing, too). In retrospect, it’s amazing that I didn’t settle on pig immediately.

  4. 4
    Mandolin says:

    Found it! Or at least the second half of what looks like it was an ongoing conversation.

    Barry: Does raccoon seem too stereotypical for a witch’s helping animal?

    Rachel: No. Though if you really want to avoid cliche… (link to Vernon pic)

    Barry: I really like the idea of a large and unlikely companion animal now.

    me: LOL. I like the raccoon. I was mostly being sarcastic.

    Barry: I know, but I’m being serious. A raccoon is much more catlike than a pig.
    Plus, if it’s a pig, then it’s in an odd gray area — is it a companion animal, or is it food? (I could do a cow, but a pig would be much more fun to draw.) It’s just a much more arresting image.

    (brief pause)

    Barry: Either a pig, or a hugely oversized chicken.

  5. 5
    RonF says:

    Hm. I forget the environment that Mirka lives in. Is it mostly Jewish, or is her family a local minority. I”m wondering about a pig living in the area. Jewish farmers don’t raise pigs, I shouldn’t think.

  6. 6
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, I’m assuming you either haven’t read the book, or read it but forgot it. :-) But it’s an all-Jewish town, and the pig being there is indeed very unusual (and the characters comment on this).

    Mandolin, thanks for digging that up! I love the idea of a giant chicken. Maybe I’ll use that in some future book.

  7. 7
    RonF says:

    I read it, but it’s been a while. Too long, I guess!