In 2003 I was commissioned by Nick May at Orion to produce an image for the Terry Pratchett Disc World Calendar. Orion had decided to commission people who had no previous experience of this type of work, and though I had done many designs for calendars I had not worked on science fiction. The brief was really open, a scene or a character from the Disc World books. Anything but Death! So I set to to read some of the books and pretty soon was hooked, as were both my children.
The next year the brief was almost as open. I was asked to do an image from "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents". At the time I had a rat living in the kitchen, an uninvited guest, so the last thing I wanted to do was read a book with anthropomorphic rats in. But then as the commissioning editor said, at least I didn't have to look far for reference.
The rat in the kitchen got away.
"The Amazing Maurice" is a fantastic book that we all enjoyed as a book and also an audio tape, and the character of Darktan, the focus of the painting is one wonderful rat character.
The 2007 calendar was a photographic piece with images taken from The Hogfather, but Nick May contacted me again to ask for a contribution to the 2008 calendar and this year I chose to show Sam Vimes asleep in the nursery with baby Sam. The image appealed so much, of this roughand tough hero who melts every evening and moves mountains to return home to read "Where's My Cow" to baby Sam as it is his favorite book.
For 2010 it is back to The Amazing Maurice again. This time I had helps and hints from the cats for what to do as someone, probably Max, brought in a great dead rat and left it tucked in neatly in a pile of washing.