Today we are chatting with Nikki McClure, author of Old Wood Boat
Read on for more about her, her book, and a giveaway!
Meet Nikki McClure
Nikki McClure is a self-taught cut-paper artist. She is also the author and illustrator of numerous children’s books and is renowned for her annual calendars. A proud denizen of the Pacific Northwest, she has worked within the Olympia music scene, including the riot grrrl movement, and has had her art exhibited internationally. She lives in Olympia, Washington.
About the Book: Old Wood Boat
Old wood boat remembers the wind. Dilapidated and parted from the sea, she remembers and waits as her mast cracks and blackberry vines creep across her deck. But one day, a family tows her home. Scraped, scrubbed, sanded, and varnished, she is made beautiful and seaworthy again. After libations have been poured out, the family casts off, and old wood boat embarks on adventure once more.
In this love letter to sailing, heralded artist Nikki McClure tells the story of a restored boat in timeless and reverent prose that perfectly accompanies her stunning cut-paper illustrations. At once delicate and bold, each page is masterful, rendered from a single sheet of black paper with precision and care that is sure to enthrall readers from coast to coast.
Raise the sails and follow the wind across the green sea in this captivating marriage of lyrical prose and intricate illustrations from a renowned West Coast artist.
~Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
A few winters ago we all had the flu including an old friend who was visiting. We couldn’t do anything but lie around and moan. So I made some stew and we climbed aboard the boat, and then sailed to an island not far away. In the morning, we started feeling better and when we got home, I wrote the story for the book. I was thankful that the boat could take us on an adventure and save us from our misery. I wanted to write a book for this boat that I loved so very much.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
They both happened at the same time. The pictures came later.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
The underwater scene is my favorite. It is a collection of memories from snorkeling in the waters of BC Canada. Old Wood Boat has made it possible to visit remote places and peer into the watery wilderness and meet many interesting creatures. I saved this picture for last. It was my dessert.
YABC: What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?
That old wood boats, or any loved object, have memories inherent in them. And that sailing doesn’t always involve storm-tossed seas. A boat can be a cozy place to dream and an excellent way to explore islands.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The cover features the girl character, somewhere in age between 10 and 15. She’s sailing the boat by herself towards an island. Gulls rest on the earliest of boats, a floating log. The back cover shows that she’s not alone. That’s me with my feet hanging off the side. And in the distance is the wooden schooner that I sailed on to Alaska and around Vancouver Island, both important voyages for me. It’s a cover that holds the girl me dreaming of boats, and the older me dreaming on boats.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?
To include other people in on your writing. To give your story enough time to grow and change alongside you.
YABC: What advice do you have for new writers?
Write. I wish I had written more earlier in this living. Write even if it isn’t good. Write even if there’s not time to finish. Write. And then edit and chose your words. Edit and savor the sounds of the words. Read it out loud. And then edit again.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I am illustrating a text written by Rachel Carson. I abridged the text, shortening it without altering words, just removing some sections and sentences. That was hard!!! She’s a perfect writer, but it was written over 50 years ago and I only have so many pages to work with and I wanted to add art! So I tucked the text in here and there. The artwork explores a new technique for me and that was a fun experiment. It got me through the isolation of the pandemic.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2022?
Of mine? Old Wood Boat. New books by other people? I will find out next time I go to my local bookstore and see what is new!
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
Notes From an Island, by Tove Jansson and Tuulikki Pietila. Perfect island dreaming.
And Dune, by Frank Herbert. I had read it a long time ago. This reading brought out the mother character strongly as I have a teenage son on the cusp of finding his life path.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
It was finding four-leaf clovers. I’d see them stopped at traffic lights, or running across a field, or walking and not looking and there one would be. Now my eyes aren’t as sharp, so I’d say my super power is prescience. Future-feeling is a result of being a sensitive observer, which finding four-leaf clovers is a sign of.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
Everyone who is working towards climate healing and social justice and support systems. Luckily that is a very large group of people!
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Thank you for sharing my work with this community!
Book’s Title: Old Wood Boat
Author: Nikki McClure
Release Date: May 10, 2022
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Picture book
Age Range: 4-8 years
Five winners will receive a copy of Old Wood Boat (Nikki McClure),~ US Only
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*