Q&A with Waterstones’ Book of the Year winner, Coralie Bickford-Smith PLUS check out her Fox and Star sketches

Foxy jacketWe got to chat with ‘Fox and the Star’ author and illustrator, Coralie Bickford-Smith about her new Waterstones’ Book of the Year title and how to become a cover creator just like her.

Congratulations on having written Waterstones’ Book of the Year! How did you feel to have ‘The Fox and the Star’ given such a great award? Thank you. I feel so honoured and touched that ‘Fox’ was so well loved by the book sellers at Waterstones that it won! It is just wonderful.

Can you describe ‘The Fox and the Star’ to our readers in the length of a tweet? Fox’s world is turned upside down when his only friend Star disappears. Themes: love, loss and learning to accept change.

You’ve designed so many lovely covers for books, but how did it feel to write the book this time? Terrifying, then ok for a bit, then terrifying again! There was a lot to learn in a short space of time so I had to hibernate from the world and live in my imaginary forest with ‘Fox’. Everything I had learnt about covers definitely came in useful when making the book. But making narrative illustrations and telling a story was a whole new learning curve. A steep one, that I still want to learn lots more about.

We’re absolutely in love with the clothbound series you did for Penguin Classics – our favourite was definitely ‘Alice In Wonderland’. Do you have a favourite design? I do love ‘Alice’. It makes such a lovely gift. My other favourite is ‘Dracula’ with its garlic flowers weaving their way around the book cover to make sure that Dracula cannot escape at night when the book’s on my bed side table.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to create beautiful covers as a career? Follow your dreams, do what you love and find your niche and run with it.

Finally, because we all want to know where the magic happens, send us a picture of where you create.


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We also got a sneak peak at some of Coralie’s sketches for ‘The Fox and the Star’. Check out where this beautiful book started below:

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Written by Laura Fulton

Book Channel Editor at MaxPop! Have a thing for the sea and pretty paperbacks. Saved by amazing grace.

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