Thursday, November 13, 2008
Hi everyone, I'm pushing in again temporarily to let you know about D. M. Cornish, an Australian illustrator and author of two books (with a third on the way) - Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling and Lamplighter. I'm telling you about him because I think his books are great (and, I admit, because he's a friend of mine). More than that, though, I just love the story of how he was 'discovered' as a writer. It makes me believe that anything is possible.
D. M's love affair with fantastical worlds began when he saw Star Wars at age 5, and continued as he grew up and read such authors as Mervyn Peake, Kafka, Tolkien and Homer. His first expression of new worlds came through his drawings, which he did all through his childhood and teenage years. In 1993, while studying illustration at the University of Adelaide, he started a notebook in which he made drawings and incredibly detailed notes about a new world, the Half-Continent. In 2003, when he was up to notebook #23, Cornish met with a publisher to discuss some illustration work he had been doing. He reached for some gum in his backpack and notebook 23 fell out of the backpack. The publisher reached for the book, flicked through it and, in her words, "I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise up. Here was the kind of thing every publisher dreams of discovering. This was a work at once beautiful and unique. It was illustrated with such intensity and love that it had the power to move a reader with the barest of information."
I love that he became a published author because a notebook fell out of his backpack. From the official Monster Blood Tattoo website: Cornish was sent away with the task of delivering 1,000 words the following week and each week thereafter. Abandoning all other paid work, he spent the next two years propped up with one small advance after the other as his publisher tried desperately to keep him from eating his furniture.
D. M. Cornish has a website and a blog (which does give spoilers of the books, so watch out). If you like fantasy novels then check it out. If you don't like that genre... then I hope you've enjoyed a fun success story of someone being 'discovered' and having their dreams become a reality.