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THE CREATION OF MR GENTLE

Whenever I look up at the moon I see a man riding a bike, which is where the character Mr Gentle in Rainbow Dust and the Moon came from. I had the idea, that the motion of him riding the bike would make the moon revolve around the earth. Everything about him and the inside of the moon had to be different, not of this world but a magical one. He couldn’t look like any ordinary man either, so he had to big, very big and of course he had to possess special powers to orchestrate the night sky.


I had a definite idea how I wanted Mr Gentle to look and it was great fun talking about those ideas with Jayne Farrer the illustrator and watching my idea come to life. As we live quite a few miles apart from each other all the work was done remotely. Jayne had ideas of how to illustrate the book after reading the script but wanted to know what image I had of Mr G in my head. I sent pictures of faces of men I felt reflected the look I had in my mind. He had to look kind and gentle but not soft and with a mass of curly hair.

During a Skype meeting early on in the process with Jayne and Viv my publisher, Viv suggested Jayne should just look at me for an example of the hair. Cheek!

We loosely based his face on a very well known actor, added a moustache and beard; we did try glasses but decided against them. Viv thinks he looks like a Welsh singer; It will be interesting to see who people think he looks like.

As I sent Jayne the pictures of faces and clothes, Jayne was sending me sketches back. We got the clothes straight off but his face took two or three attempts before we felt he was right. His clothes are based on the Victorian era which matches his personality perfectly. Mr Gentle is most definitely a true gentleman.

Illustration by Jayne Farrer

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