An Interview with Author-Illustrator Julian Hector

Julian Hector wrote and illustrated The Gentleman Bug, a picture book I could read every day and never tire of it. It is strange to compare myself to a bug, but I am the human version of The Gentleman Bug. He is a book-loving insect who shares my passion for libraries and literacy. If you have not read it, please do me a favor and check it out from your school or public library. While you're at the library, go ahead and check out all of his picture books. They are gentle and well-crafted gems.

Now, it's time for the main course...

As you know, I am a huge fan of The Gentleman Bug. You've probably been asked this question a gazillion times, BUT what gave you the idea for writing and illustrating The Gentleman Bug?

Julian Hector: The Gentleman Bug started as a sketch, drawn several years ago. I didn't have a story idea, but I liked the character and felt that it had some picture book potential.
While waiting for a story idea to come to me, I filled several sketchbooks full of characters and settings in an effort to give The Gentleman Bug a world to live in. Later on, after my first book, The Little Matador was released, my editor and I got together to brainstorm new picture book ideas - she really liked The Gentleman Bug and pushed me to come up with a story. In the end, I really just wanted a story that allowed me to feature all of my favorite characters and locations from the original world building sketchbooks, and, as you can't have a gentleman bug without a lady bug, a light romance felt appropriate. The addition of the library was a play off of one of my earliest ideas, where I thought that it would be fun to tell a story about a group of feral bugs who learned how to read and become civilized.

I love your book trailer for 10 Scary Animals: A Field Guide. Book trailers are extremely popular in my school library. Why do you think so many readers are drawn to book trailers?

Julian Hector: Hmmm, I mean, most readers have always had a desire to experience books beyond their printed form, and I think that, coupled with our internet enhanced hunger for content, has created the perfect environment for book trailers to thrive in. Also, I think that the excitement around movie trailers - which have become their own art form, and where even the trailers themselves have trailers in the form of the 'teaser trailer' - has helped to fuel a kind of general trailer excitement.

10 Scary Animals Trailer Storyboard

What art medium do you like best?

Julian Hector: Pencil and paper.

What inspired you to create picture books? Is there a picture book you love to reread?

Julian Hector: I can't really point to a single thing that inspired me to create picture books. I think that my isolated, son of biologists, surrounded by animals and mountains of drawing paper upbringing helped to groom me for this life. There are a lot of creative types who say that their profession chose them, and I think that sentiment could apply to me, too. I entered design school wanting to be an architect, but slowly realized that writing and illustrating was the more harmonious and least painful thing for me to do - though, I would really love it if someone asked me to design a concert hall or Guggenheim satellite location.

I love to reread The Story of Ferdinand. It's my "if there was a fire in your apartment and you only had time to grab one book" book.

Can you share what you're currently working on?

Julian Hector: I can! I'm slowly finishing the illustrations for a bilingual, Spanish/English fairy tale anthology for Harper Collins, and I'm working on two of my own picture books; one about a scorpion, and the other about a mouse who is half tricycle, and I'm working on a short internet-based picture book written by Leslie Muir (author of C.R. Mudgeon), which she and I are giving away for free in a couple weeks.

Author-illustrator Julian Hector was born in Los Angeles, grew up in rural Texas, and graduated from Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. His debut picture book, The Little Matador, was published in 2008. Julian lives in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and you can visit him online at - Bio taken from here.
Julian Hector illustrated Monday is One Day.
Julian created these images for the 10 Scary Animals trailer.
Borrow Julian's books from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.
I'm giving away two books: The Gentleman Bug and C.R. Mudgeon.
Rules for the Giveaway

* The giveaway runs from March 28 to 11:59 PM on March 30.

* If you win
The Gentleman Bug OR C.R. Mudgeon, I will send you an email.

* You must be at least 13 to participate.
* Please pay it forward. :)


  1. I love this interview! Julian, so much fun to learn more about you (140 characters isn't always enough) and see more of your work. Beautiful illustrations and your trailers are so much fun.
    Thanks so much for putting this together & for the generous giveaway, Mr. Schu.

  2. Julian is the illustrator guy around!

    My personal favorites of his work are his architectural drawings.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts