Knowing me, knowing you: Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt

 

Jacqueline Wilson, 66, is the award-winning children's author of books such as Girls In Love and Lily Angel. She has sold more than 30 million books in the UK alone and in 2008 she was made a Dame.

 

I first met Nick about 21 years ago, after I had written The Story of Tracy Beaker. I had a very clear idea in my head that I wanted it to have lots of illustrations. I thought it would only work if it seemed like it was written by Tracy. Nick had illustrated some lovely poetry collections, very lively and modern and my editor David had the feeling that we would be a good match.

Authors and illustrators don't usually meet, at least not for a long time, but a meeting was set up. We were sort of eyeing each other up in a friendly but rather shy way and I thought that he looked very nice and I liked his style of drawing, but I knew I wanted really completely quirky and zany drawings and Nick was wearing a quite conventional suit. I kept wondering if he had that mad edge to him. I think my nose started running and I bent down to get a hanky out my handbag and then saw that Nick's socks, just peeping out from under the hem of his trousers, were this amazing bright yellow. And I thought: "Yes! Here's my edge; this is my guy."

This is a running joke and for birthdays I try and find ridiculously patterned socks for him. I have complete faith in Nick. I've lost count of how many books we've worked on. Many children think we live together, as Nick and I are so much together in their heads.

Jacqueline Wilson's new book 'The Worst Thing About My Sister' is published by Doubleday

 

Nick Sharratt, 49, is an illustrator and author. He has worked on more than 200 books, more than 40 with Jacqueline Wilson, including The Story of Tracy Beaker.

We were introduced by an editor we both worked for who thought we might make quite a nice team. Initially I was so excited to have the book to illustrate but I had no idea that it would turn into such a long working relationship. As I recall, Tracy Beaker was taking her in a new direction and it was pretty much the first one where a lot of illustration was involved and one of the early ones where she was writing in the voice of a child.

I like to think I have quite a good memory from when I was a youngster myself and so with The Story of Tracy Beaker I just tried to remember what it was like to be 10 and the way that I liked to draw then. I made a conscious effort to try and draw in a child-friendly style for that book, which is pretty close to how I draw anyway!

I think Jacqueline has got a way of communicating with her readers that is spot on. I always think that when I read the manuscripts; it's like having found the diary of a child because she writes in an incredibly relatable way. We've become very good friends; we've had plenty of holidays together. It's really developed into a wonderful friendship. Right at the beginning, Jacqui gave me a lot of suggestions for illustrations but nowadays I just get given the manuscript and have the freedom to tackle it as I feel best. The lovely thing is we seem to be on the same wavelength.

Nick Sharratt's new book 'Socks' is published by David Fickling

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
football
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

    Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

    Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

    Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

    £15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

    Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us