Sam Wu has been a brilliant series for me to work on

Published on: 25 August 2019 Author: Nathan Reed

I remember receiving the email from the publisher asking me if I'd like to illustrate the first book whilst on holiday in St Ives. I read the summary and knew it would be a great fit for my illustration style and an exciting project to work on.

I'm a big fan of Tim Burton films (particularly The Nightmare Before Christmas) and the original Scooby Doo cartoons (which I still enjoy watching with my two boys) so anything slightly spooky is right up my street!

The authors have certainly created some great scenarios and interesting settings for me to work with and I've tried as much as possible to match the energy and fun in the stories with my illustrations.

As part of the writing process, Katie and Kevin have admitted they consider what they think I'd find inspiring to draw and they often get this spot on! What illustrator wouldn't love illustrating ghosts, sharks, giant spiders and dinosaur skeletons right? I've even had to draw Butterbutt (Lucy's cat) dressed as a burrito which was a challenge and took a few attempts!

Throughout the series they've also introduced some brilliant accompanying characters to the usual gang.

New characters in each book help to freshen up the drawing process and Katie and Kevin have tapped into the fact I enjoy drawing big moustaches!

The design of the pages in the books has very much been a collaborative process between myself and the designer Lizzie Gardiner at Egmont. The pages are heavily illustrated and full of doodles put together by the Egmont design team in an effort to make the series as engaging and appealing to young readers as possible.

Sam Wu and the gang

I'm currently enjoying working on book 5. Book 5 is set in a spooky mansion and a natural history museum and it's been a lot of fun drawing Sam and his gang in fancy dress (a sneak preview of which is above!).

I won't give away what Sam's "NOT" afraid of this time. I'm just hoping he's not " NOT" afraid of mice or rats anytime soon because if he is, I might just have to illustrate that one from behind the sofa!

If I ever see a mouse, picture the scared, screaming lady in Tom and Jerry cartoons...that's me!