April 22, 2016 — Imagnary House

We are proud to announce our debut author and publication: Seven by B. D. Harris.

B. D. Harris

Harris is a writer and illustrator of children's books, living and working in Woodstock, Cape Town. This is what he had to say about writing, when we asked him: 

"It brings back that nostalgic feeling you have as a kid. When you believed with everything you were that the box lying across the room was actually a creature you needed to slay. Or when you looked at the big tree in your garden and saw only a castle-wall that needed climbing. It’s about making the unimaginable believable."

We agree. Although strangely fantastic at first, his writing embraces this kind of imagination to draw out real human stories of hope, loss and fatherhood.  

An Interview with B. D. Harris

Why do you write?

I try to imagine what I used to see the world like as a child - drawing on that innocence to depict the imaginary in everyday life. 

Could you explain how you came to be a writer today? 

I grew up in George and, as a small town boy, it was necessary to find something that would occupy my free time. I could only climb the tree outside so many times. So, I began to read, write and draw (and quite a bit). 

I wrote my first short story in Grade 2. It was a terrible spin-off of a Goosebumps novel that I'd only read the back page blurb of in our local library, but the experience left me wanting to grow into a writer. After studying a BA in English and Classics, I soon realised that storytelling has a far greater reach than only written words. In fact, my love of illustration began to feed my writing and vice versa. I illustrate for the same reason that I write now, and that is to tell a specific story of specific intention. 

My love for God has left me in wonder of how children see the world, and trying to understand their viewpoint more and more. That's why my style tends to reflect this exploration most of the time. That perhaps they are all the wiser for being so innocent, and how wonderful that is. 

When did you begin to understand the power of story? 

What always comes back to me is a memory of travelling along the N2 as a kid, and to pass the time my dad would make up a fantastic story each trip. I was engrossed every time, and almost every single story he told us is still with me today. They weren't epics and he's never even written them down, but they impacted my imagination so much. Those moments are when I first began to understand the power of storytelling. 

"When I opened my eyes, it didn't make sense. The world was upside down and leftways and rightways. Things were on their head! I didn't know how to think of what I saw, because I'd never seen them before. There were rumplebuffs and slipperydoos, and hinklewoks and jinglepops, hippityhops, leapityleaps and a whole bundle of gobbledygleeps! How else do you describe a world made of magic? It was like nothing else, so nothing could describe it quite like imagined words." - excerpt from Seven by B. D. Harris

What are some of the themes you write about?

Fatherhood, loss, child-mindedness and imagination.

What books can we expect from you in 2017? 

This next year, I'm editing 6 children's picture books and releasing one more of my own... can't say too much more right now. Keep an ear to the ground, I suppose.

Stay tuned for more about our debut author and his new publication. Or just go and find out all the juice by purchasing your limited-edition copy of Seven right now.

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