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  • Seen-and-Not-Heard

Katie May Green

As a child

I was born and grew up in Shropshire, where there are lots of lovely rolling hills and great woods for walking (or for playing games of hide and seek). At home there was always a messy pile of books next to my bed, plus a sketch pad and a pot of felt-tip pens: my duvet was covered in felt-tip pen stains. At weekends I used to make little stapled-together books with my friend across the road; we created a whole series.

As an adult

It took me a while to realise that I wanted to write and illustrate children's books as a career. I did a degree in History of Art, and in my spare time I designed costumes for university shows. Now that I make children’s books I get to design costumes, be the script-writer, the director, the lighting designer, the set designer and all the actors’ voices! After lots of twists and turns and office jobs, and a few years working for a greetings card company, I got a place on an M.A. course in children’s book illustration at Cambridge School of Art. During my time at Cambridge I got the idea for Seen and Not Heard: it was inspired by a visit to an art gallery. I’d been standing in front of an old, grand portrait of four children in very fine clothes, and I wondered what the children were really like… whether they were as angelic as they seemed on the canvas in their fancy frames, or whether they had another side to them…

Things you didn’t know about Katie

  1. I once lived on the top floor of a museum, up five flights of stairs, in a very old building. It was spooky at times.
  2. I like having red hair.
  3. My favourite meal is boiled eggs with soldiers (soldiers as in toast. Although it might be interesting to share a boiled egg with some real soldiers).
  4. I never forget people who are inspiring and encouraging.
  5. I wish I spent more time lying under trees reading books.
  6. I wish I spent less time in front of a computer screen.
  7. I enjoy being in water: swimming pool, bath, sea, rain. As long as it’s not too cold or muddy.
  8. Sometimes I’m a city girl; sometimes I’m a country lass.
  9. I love going to France and trying out my half-remembered A-level French.
  10. I love dancing.

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