Well, this has been a very long term project. I had this idea ages ago when researching all the towns in Australia for Events and Places. I wanted to create a picture book that reflected the glooms and booms of a typical country town as well as show how national events impacted the community. I can't draw to save my life so what I needed was a very special illustrator with artistic magic.
Enter Louise Hogan. I don't think she realised what a massive task this would be but she possessed the painstaking skill and patience to translate the lists of changes for each spread into a beautiful and useful book.
Life got in the way a lot of times but gradually each scene was done and it's been fascinating and thrilling to see this little town coming to life.
We gave Walker Books quite a challenge in coming up with a design for our concept but Louise and I are delighted at the result and we thank the publishing team for all their support and encouragement. We are also very grateful to Susan Moylan-Coombs, our indigenous adviser, for all her kind help.
We hope COUNTRY TOWN will be a fun asset in understanding Australia's history.