Unable to extract themselves from an era of spiritual exploration and creative revolution, a handful of scribes and illustrators clung to the notion of the Beat Generation and morphed into The Beatnickers Band. For years, The Beatnickers have been gracing SCBWI AusNZ Conferences, enticing would be shakers and groovers onto the dance floors. And like a hippie left out in the sun too long, it’s a culture that seems to be assuming a life of its own. Join us now as we delve below the curdled mantle of The Beatnickers and their key members, starting with, James Foley.
James Foley makes picture books and comics for kids. He’s the author/illustrator of the S.Tinker Inc graphic novel series for middle primary: Brobot (2016) and Dungzilla (2017) starring Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, and Joe Tinker, her stinky baby brother. The third in the series, Gastronauts, will be published in late 2018. James’ earlier books My Dead Bunny (2015) In The Lion (2012), The Last Viking (2011) and The Last Viking Returns (2014) have all scored several honours, including children’s choice awards, shortlistings in the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year awards, and selection to the International Youth Library’s White Raven list. James is an an ambassador for Books In Homes and Room To Read. He is a massive Marvel movie nerd. He comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts.
Welcome, James! Briefly state your conference role and conference responsibilities
My role will be Chief Lyric Warbler in a band called the Beatnickers. The band members are all SCBWI scribblers and scribes (plus the odd scoundrel).
How long have you been part of the SCBWI Band and what made you sign up for it: the money, the notoriety, the free scotch finger biscuits?
I was unaware there were free scotch finger biscuits. This will be my third time singing with the band - have there been free scotch finger biscuits in the past? Meredith and Scott, did you know about this?? Did you eat my share of the biscuits?!?
Describe your most notable achievement or proudest moment in Kids’ Lit to date
The best thing is that I still get to do it. It’s not a stable job, it’s not a given - but it’s been 9 years since I started my first book, 7 years since my first book was published, and 5 and a half years since I started doing it full time.
What is the most memorable (SCBWI) Conference experience you’ve had to date, or hope to have?
The best part about SCBWI conferences is the chance to catch up with everyone from across Oz and have a party.
Name one thing you can’t live without
Scotch finger biscuits.
Provide at least one Fun Fact from a SCBWI Conference you’ve attended or played at (anywhere in the world)
I went to the 2012 NY winter conference, and Mo Willems was a keynote. He is quite good at throwing frisbees. I know this because he threw signed copies of his books into the audience. 75% sure they were softcovers.
Get to know James better by visiting his website: www.jamesfoley.com.au
If you’re keen to meet more Beatnickers scoundrels, er members, stick around, we’ve managed to lure them in with a mere half a packet of scotch finger biscuits! Till then,
Rove ya later!
Dimity (Head Gardener)