Ginger is a Hero / Ron's Feeling Blue / Feeling Cross and Sorting it Out / When Dad Died / Going to the Doctor / and many more...
Beth worked with Sheila Hollins in founding Beyond Words in 1989 and has illustrated over 20 titles
Sheila Hollins once asked me, ‘How do you tell a man his dad has died, without using words?’ She showed me some children’s books about death and some rough drawings. The books weren’t age-appropriate, and the drawings didn’t really work.
I was interested. My first degree was in psychology and sociology, but I also loved drawing, so I started to sketch up some ideas. To clarify the storyline, I used body language, clear gesture, and symbols – as used by mime artists and graphic novel illustrators. However, I struggled with what colour to use for this lady’s dress or that man’s shirt?’ As I am also a children’s writer, I turned to metaphor and idiom for inspiration, hence phrases such as: ‘I’m feeling blue’, ‘I’m under a cloud,’ ‘I’m in the pink,’ and ‘red hot anger’ became my colour guidelines.
We found the use of these emotionally-keyed colours (based on western culture) effectively combined what the characters in the story were feeling with what was happening to create the Books Beyond Words early style.
Since those early days, I have produced twenty titles for Books Beyond Words, including writing and illustrating Ginger is a Hero (our first Page Turners title).
More information about me and my fantasy novels for children and teenagers can be found on www.bethwebb.co.uk. Details of my creative writing courses for young people can be found on http://www.kilvecourt.co.uk/enrichment/