Cathy Brett in her own words:
I’ve been doodling since I could hold a crayon – on paper, on walls, sometimes on my sister! At school, I sucked at maths and cross-country running, but managed to pass a few exams like Scribbling (English) and Doodling (Art). An exasperated teacher suggested I might do doodling as a career so I said “Okay, sign me up!” At Doodling College, I wore a lot of black, died my hair assorted colours, learned some new doodling techniques and decided to have a go at the coolest-sounding job, ‘Fashion Doodler’.
Doodling professionally (yes, actually getting paid to doodle!!) was amazing fun but I got bored quickly, always day-dreaming about what exciting job to try next. I was a theatre assistant scenic artist, jeanswear designer, jet-setting trend forecaster, bag designer, shop window creator, university lecturer, cosmetics packaging designer and children’s book illustrator. The children’s book stuff didn’t bore me so much. In fact, I decided it was the best job yet and would probably be a whole lot cooler if I doodled the pictures AND scribbled the words, so I had a go.
I scribbled a story about a teenage pyromaniac, sent it to an agent and, astonishingly, got a publishing deal! Ember Fury, my first illustrated teen novel, was published by Headline in 2009. Ember Fury wasBorders’ Children’s Book of the Month in September 2009 and was shortlisted for The Young Minds Book Award. Cool, huh? Next I scribbled a darkly comic horror story about a teen ghost, Scarlett Dedd, which was published in September 2010. Scarlett was selected for the first Richard and Judy Children’s Book Club and has been long-listed for the Lincolnshire Book Awards. My third book, Verity Fibbs, has just hit the bookshelves (yay!) and I’m editing book 4! I’m also having fun turning all my books into feature animation film scripts, illustrating other people’s books, blogging, tweeting, teaching design and touring around the country to festivals, bookshops and schools, trying to convince teenagers, teachers and parents that doodling is a proper job!