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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: Dylan Coburn talks about Boingo and the Golden Balloon

From Donald Duck to The Lord of the Rings, Dylan Coburn has been a professional artist since 1995. Drawing storyboards for some of the largest film/TV productions on the planet, illustrating over 30 children’s publications, making award-winning original animated and live-action films, and now, writing and drawing his very own picture book, Boingo and the Golden Balloon.

Can you tell us a little about the new book?

Boingo and the Golden Balloon is a book about a bunny who loses his favourite thing - his golden balloon, and chases it right up to the top of the forest, counting his jumps and making new friends along the way. In the process of recovering his balloon, he discovers his favourite thing to do. Chasing Balloons!

How difficult was it writing your first book Boingo and The Golden Balloon?

The writing is a lot of fun, but getting to the final draft was a huge undertaking… editing took forever - I was never satisfied! Then - once I started illustrating I needed to go back to the manuscript, so it was tweaked right up to the very end - just before it was sent to print. So, writing it was extremely difficult, but well worth taking the time to get it 100% right.

What research was involved?

I mined my imagination, and didn’t research anything external. At first draft, I was reading picture books to my son everyday, and felt totally tapped in to what little kids would respond to.

What was your routine or process when writing this book?

As it was written over a few years 2017-2022, it changed around a lot. When I wrote the first draft I was working in an animation studio, where the 1-hour lunch break was for writing every day. Then there was nights and weekends whenever I could.

If a soundtrack was made to accompany the new book, name a song or two you would include.

Who Are The People In Your Neighbourhood?” From the early Sesame Street shows — SUCH a great song and perfect to Boingo to meet new friends while bouncing up the forest. Also “Cottlestone Pie” as sung by Muppet Rowlf - love his piano playing, the song as an instrumental would be a a great backdrop for the book.

What did you enjoy the most about writing Boingo and the Golden Balloon?

Being with Boingo. When I was writing I felt like a Dad to Boingo, and I was reading back one of Boingo’s adventures to cute little toddler Boingo. Any time I can hang out with Boingo, and try to see the world in a Boingo way - I’m there!

What did you do to celebrate finishing this book?

Took the family to “Little Jimmy’s” in Epsom - YUM - that place rocks!

What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?

“William Blake verses the World” by John Higgs. I knew about Maurice Sendak’s love for William Blake, and he said that he was obsessed by him but couldn’t understand him. This resonated with me about Blake’s work, and this book does a brilliant job of unpacking his unconventional ideas which have a lot to offer, even hundreds of years after his passing.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

Currently I’m writing a Boingo Animated series, and through the process, discovering lots of potential for what the next book might be. The writing of the first season will be done in November, so over Christmas, I’ll see if I can get a first draft down of the next book. Looking forward to spending more time with Boingo!


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