Discover B.C.R. Fegan and his latest picture book!
B.C.R. Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.
Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of nature’s ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books.
As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerized by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.
Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced.
Twitter account – @bcrfegan
Website URL – https://www.bcrfegan.com/
Tell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of?
My latest book is The Day That A Ran Away. It’s an alphabet book that follows the excuses of young Master Jet as he tries to wriggle out of not completing his homework.
My overriding focus for the story was to turn a traditional alphabet book into something that was a little more memorable and exciting for both the child and parent. I hope children who are beginning their journey into reading and writing will find the simple rhymes and colorful letters helpful in that journey. Older children and parents, on the other hand, may actually enjoy reading or listening to the story too, as there are a number of deeper layers that I hope will hold their interest.
I think what I’m most proud of about the book is that there is so much learning packed into it without it feeling overbearing. Of course, the primary learning concept is the alphabet, but it also introduces the concept of homework and every page contains a number of ‘Easter eggs’ for children to find. All of which has great learning value.
Thinking back to your own childhood, is there a particular author or illustrator who was a favorite? Why do you suppose that person’s work resonated with you?
It’s an interesting question because I read so many picture books as a child, but early on I didn’t really make the connection between the story and the writer behind it. To me, it was simply a great book! I probably had a number of favorite authors without realizing it.
When I eventually made the connection however, I was right into Graeme Base’s book ‘The Eleventh Hour’. Here was a book that wasn’t just a simple story, but was this spectacular maze of ideas and images to pour over and get lost in. It was actually a very clever book and as I soon found out, so were his others!
I think what I loved most about Base’s work (who is both an author and an illustrator), was that he built so much into the book. You could spend hours on each page – looking for clues, finding hidden objects and simply enjoying the artwork. I think his books really cemented for me two important things: Firstly, the connection between the text and the illustrations need to be more than complimentary, they have to elevate each other beyond anything they could do alone. Secondly, you want a narrative that pulls you along quickly, but with enough depth that you could just as happily dwell on a single page for hours.
When did you realize that you would be a writer? Is there a particular person who has inspired and/or supported your work along the way?
I think I realized early on in my life that I wanted to ‘write’. I may not have quite grasped the idea that I could turn it into a vocation, but for almost as long as I’ve been reading, I’ve been writing too.
When I eventually made the decision to begin publishing my manuscripts, I had incredible encouragement from my wife. She has continued to be an amazing pillar of support ever since, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am as an author without her.
What are the joys of being an author? What do you derive your greatest pleasure from?
There are so many! In fact, I enjoy almost every aspect of writing – from the possibilities of a blank page to the satisfaction of a completed manuscript.
However – without a doubt – the greatest pleasure comes from the feedback I receive from children and parents who have enjoyed the book. It’s a little bit surreal when you hear children dressing up as characters from your books for World Book Day; or hearing parents talk about your books as their child’s favorite. It’s also those moments you hold on to when the occasional bad review threatens to dampen your day.
What are the biggest challenges of being an author?
Only trying to swim in a surging ocean of marketing ideas and publicity essentials. I think I’m not the only author who wishes they could spend more time on writing and less time trying to gain exposure. Unfortunately, it’s simply a part of the business these days.
Does music play a part in your writing? If so, what sort of music do you connect with your work?
It does sometimes. Given the choice, I’d prefer to listen to the rain or the wind outside while I write. Failing that, I might listen to recordings of storms to provide the right atmosphere (I know, sounds strange right?). However, I also don’t mind classical music on the odd occasion to play alongside the thoughts in my head while I furiously try to keep up with my pen.