Barnboksveckans gäster 2014 : Jimmy Liao

Jimmy Liao trodde sig inte alls kunna illustrera böcker utan avböjde alla sådana förslag. När han efter en tids sjukdom blivit frisk gjorde han ändå en bok eftersom han gärna ville lämna något till sin lilla dotter och resultatet blev Secrets in the Woods, en bok för alla åldrar.

Why did you become a children’s books illustrator? Where you interested in stories and pictures as a child, or was it your own child that needed stories, or is it a way to make the world a better place to live in?

Before my first book published, I was an illustrator painting for newspapers and magazines.  There were some publishing companies invited me to publish my own book, at that time I thought it might be a picture collection, but I didn’t think I could make this.  Then I was sick.  While I left the hospital to recuperate, a company invited me again to have a picture book.  This time I agreed with this since I would like to have a book and leave it to my baby daughter. This was my first book Secrets in the Woods.
But I didn’t intend to make a children picture book.  I made it more pages than children’s book, and the size of the book was like a ordinary book for general readers. I don’t want only children to read this book; I hope readers of any age would like Secrets in the Woods.  In Taiwan, now we call this genre as “adult picture books”.  Except a few books I made for children, most of my books were, as my recognizing, adult picture books.  I knew exactly in Europe there was no this kind of genre, I still wish children would like my books and so do the adult readers.
Do you illustrate also for adults?
I often illustrate for adults. I had a lot of pictures which were drawn for newspaper literature supplement. As mentioned below, most of my books are illustrated for adults.
Do you believe that children’s books should be read by grown ups as well?
If children were too young to read, grown ups’ reading would be wonderful. I often read my books for audiences, usually adults, while the illustrations were projected.  The audience hasn’t listened to other’s reading picture books for a long time, so I think to “read” picture books by listening and only see the pictures is a marvelous experience.
Do you remember when and where your first illustration was published?
It was in 1986, I painted for a literature magazine CROWN. 
Do you have a favorite among your books?
It’s very hard to say which would be my favorite. Every single book means differently to me. My first book Secrets in the Woods might always be my special one for it made me know that I can be an author.  The Rainbow of Time is my longest story, the story is about a girl’s life time about cinema. It’s very cruel, and very fantastic.
What are you working on right now?
I draw my next books temporarily titled Everybody Loves Waltz. Waltz is a wonderful dog. This would be a warm story of a smart dog.