1. How did you get involved with this book?
I am always proud to be a woman, and proud to have a connection to our beautiful Birmingham and its people. I was really excited.
2. What was it like being part of this book?
3. What kind of responses have you had from the book?
Hearing people being so positive at the launch and the Waterstones event was so touching. It's really out there and people are loving it, and I think that's been a real highlight. When I've illustrated books before, the normal process is that you finish your illustrations, it eventually goes out to print and it's exciting to see it on the shelves in book shops, but you never really get to see how it's received. This has been a really special book in that the events that have followed have allowed everyone to see how much the girls are enjoying it and being inspired by it.
4. Can you tell us about a woman who has inspired you?
I find all women inspiring! My Mum, My Girl Gang, My sister, colleagues, everyone! If I had to pick one of the top of my head that inspired me when I was little I would choose JK Rowling. My Mum always made a big point, whilst I was reading the Harry Potter Books, about how she came from nothing and wrote the start of Harry Potter on a Napkin which I always found fascinating and must've taken real strength of character to get to where she is today.
Working on this book has really opened my eyes up to both the struggles and achievements of womenkind, that perhaps being born in the 90's I could've taken for granted. The world was a different place for women not so long ago and change has come about because of the efforts of so many women. The women featured in the book are particularly special because they knew what they wanted to do and were just going for it, regardless of their background, expectations of how they should behave or think or act. They have a cause for change and a job that needs doing and they're letting nothing get in their way! These are the kinds of women I admire in particular.
You can find out more about Once Upon a Time in Birmingham and order your copy (£14.99) here.
Photo: Jack Spicer Adams