Interview: Jan Lummis talks about Bambi the Blind Alpaca
Jan Lummis enjoys country life on a lifestyle block in Dairy Flat, where she and her husband share the land with 10 sheep, a goat and two alpacas. After media took an interest in the story of her fretting alpaca, Jan thought children would also like to hear the story. Jan talks to NZ Booklovers about her book Bambi the Blind Alpaca, illustrated by Jenny Cooper
Tell us a little about Bambi the Blind Alpaca.
The story came about under sad circumstances, brothers Charisma & Bambi were in paddock by roadside after three days I found Charisma not to be found, I presumed he had been stolen, after reporting the theft to police it then became an internet story going viral, as this left Bambi alone and blind, he relied on his brother to get around the paddock without bumping into fences. The public had sightings as far as Wellington and other farms but none were Charisma.
What inspired you to write this book?
After Seven Sharp on TVNZ reported the theft numerous media stations, sky and radio wanted interviews with me. This book came about after Scholastic NZ contacted me to hear the full story as they felt it would be an excellent book for the young ones.
What research was involved?
No research involved, only an Alpaca fact sheet as this is based on a true story as I have owned and cared for alpaca's on my lifestyle block.
What was your routine or process when writing this book, and how did you collaborate with the illustrator?
Scholastic arranged the illustrator , we both worked on the story putting it into words that young children would understand and to omit the sadness, I wanted to give it a friendly and happy story with a believable ending.
What did you enjoy the most about writing this book?
To tell the story of Bambi's disability and that animals need friends to treasure always (just like adults). If Charisma was still with his brother Bambi, this book would have not been written. He was never found!
Bambi the Blind Alpaca is published by Scholastic NZ