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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: Stephanie Thatcher talks about Hot, Cross Bunny


Stephanie Thatcher is an author and illustrator. After working in libraries for seven years she completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Auckland University of Technology, and commenced working as a graphic designer in Auckland and Dublin.


As well as being a mum to her three boys, she has maintained a freelance career in graphic design, motion graphics and illustration work. Stephanie talks to NZ Booklovers.


Tell us a little about Hot, Cross Bunny.

It’s a story about a little bunny who is sweet and adorable – unless he doesn’t get his own way.

What inspired you to write and illustrate this book?

I have 3 boys who sometimes fight with each other over the silliest of things, and one of my boys in particular really likes to get his own way ALL THE TIME. This gave me the idea for the story. What was your process in creating this book?

I began by writing the story, then re-writing it. I then began sketching rabbits, including sketching my friend’s daughter’s rabbit. I spent months doing pencil sketches of bunnies, refining the sketches more and more to create the characters of Basil and Daisy. Once I was happy with the sketches, I began work on the final artwork in pencil and watercolour. I also designed the book, so spent a lot of time working out fonts, page breaks, the cover design and so on.

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

I think I’d need to include something sweet and happy like ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams, followed by something more angry and head-bangery like Twisted Sister 'We’re not going to take it'. What did you enjoy the most about writing this book?

I always enjoy sketching, and the finished paintings. I keep thinking I should switch to digital illustrations, but I enjoy pencils and paper and paints too much. What did you do to celebrate finishing this book?

Tidied up my paper and cleaned my painting palette. It was good to have the dining table back! What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?

The Richard Osman series The Thursday Murder Club. All 3 of the books in the series are genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. What’s next on the agenda for you?

I’m currently writing another story, but am stuck on 2 lines, so have put it away for a while to have another look at with fresh eyes. I also work as a graphic designer as my main source of income, and look after my 3 children.


Scholastic NZ

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