Former Tamworth girl Heidi McKinnon publishes first book 'I just ate my friend'

I just ate my friend

I just ate my friend

THE meaning of former Tamworth-girl Heidi McKinnon’s book may be up for debate, but there’s no doubting Saturday will be a meaningful day for the first-time author.

Ms McKinnon will be making an in-store appearance at Collins, on Peel St, to celebrate the release of her children’s book, I just ate my friend.

“I suppose the moral is ‘don’t eat your friends’,” Ms McKinnon told The Leader.

The book is sparsely worded, but densely illustrated and it unites a number of the passions of its creator.

Ms McKinnon wrote and illustrated the book, plying her longer-term trade as a graphic designer and drawing inspiration from the books she’s been reading to her three-year-old daughter, Ava.

“It’s a lighthearted kind-of story about friendship,” she said.

“It’s not meant to be taken too seriously.

“It’s purely for entertainment, they’re the sort of books I’m attracted to reading to my daughter.”

COMBINING PASSIONS: Author and illustrator Heidi McKinnon with daughter, and sometime critic, Ava. Photo: Supplied

COMBINING PASSIONS: Author and illustrator Heidi McKinnon with daughter, and sometime critic, Ava. Photo: Supplied

In the simplest of terms, I just ate my friend is about “a weird monster that eats his friend and makes a new friend”, with a funny twist at the end.

Ms McKinnon said it hasn’t stopped people from presenting their own interpretations.

“Some people think it’s about vegetarianism,” she said.

“I suppose it could be.”

Released earlier this year, the book has already hit some significant milestones, with a new batch of copies set to be reprinted and it’s also set to be published in the US next year.

While writing is a relatively new feather in Ms McKinnon’s cap, she traced her storytelling genes back to her grandfather, who used to live on a farm on Bylong Rd and would tell scary stories.

The book has minimal text, but that didn’t decrease the difficulty.

“People think a picture book would be super easy,” she said.

“You have to distill it right down to what’s completely necessary. “It looks simple, but it’s actually quite tricky.”

However, she was guided by the “best critic in the world”, her daughter Ava, who would run the ruler over ideas.

“She’s an excellent measurer,” Ms McKinnon said.

“She also tells me when she doesn’t like things.”

Ms McKinnon will be in store at Collins from 10am.

The book has been in high demand, according to the shop, so punters will have to get in quick if they want to grab a copy.

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