Before you email me a question make sure you read these questions as they are the questions I’m most often asked by fans of the Tom Gates books.
(Pichon is pronounced “pea shone” in case you were wondering.)
My birthday is 16th August 1963 (YES I’m quite old).
I was born in London, England.
My Mum is half Burmese (which makes me a quarter Burmese.)
I’m the youngest of four children (two sisters and a brother.)
My dad’s nick name was “Bud” but his real name was Francis (or FRANK).
My Primary School was Brookfield Primary School in Highgate.
I remember lots of teachers from my school and I often include funny things that really happened to me in the Tom Gates books. I loved drawing when I was younger and I would copy characters from books and from comics too (especially the Walt Disney ones).
My Secondary School was St Augustine’s C of E High School in Kilburn. (Sort of interesting fact: Bradley Wiggins Olympic cyclist – went to the same school as me. But not at the same time – he’s a lot younger.)
I did Graphic design at Camberwell School of Art in London.
One of the first jobs I had was designing record covers for bands at JIVE RECORDS in Willesden.
I also designed a range of T-shirts that I sold at market stalls and craft fairs too.
Lots of my designs have been used on greeting cards, calendars and all kinds of other products.
To set up an event with Liz Pichon please get in contact with Scholastic using the form here.
How did you start writing books?
When I worked as an illustrator I was asked to illustrate other people’s stories, which made me think - MAYBE I could WRITE and illustrate my own stories? So I had a go and (drum roll...) look what happened!
What was the first book you wrote?
The first book I illustrated and wrote was called Square Eyed Pat and it was published in 2004 by Puffin Books.
Where did you get the idea for Tom Gates?
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates started out as a picture book idea and gradually ended up becoming the first book I wrote for older children. I imagined that Tom was writing in his own exercise book at school and Mr Fullerman would write comments in it. The style of drawing is supposed to be Tom drawing in his own books.
How many books are you planning to write in the series?
So far (2014) there are seven books in the series and the Tom Gates Annual is due out in the UK in 2014. But there could be ten books, or maybe more, if I have loads of other ideas.
Where else is Tom published?
The Tom Gates books are published in 30 different countries worldwide. They have also won LOADS of fantastic awards too, including The Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011, The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2012, The Red House Book Award 2012 and The Blue Peter Book Award 2013. How BRILLIANT is THAT?
Why did you call him Tom Gates?
He just looked like a Tom to me and I wanted a nice short surname. So TOM GATES really suited him - don’t you agree?