My name is Ræchel Renate Tresise Togden. I wrote this book called The Legendary Rabbit of Death with my dad. I illustrated the stories too. It all started off with drawing rabbits. My dad scanned them and then helped me colour them with Photoshop. I didn’t know anything about Photoshop at first – but my dad showed me how to do lots of things. I learnt more and more with each rabbit. There are lots of good things in Photoshop but it’s not something that is easy unless you have a dad or mum to help you. At first my dad was always saying “If you do that you’ll kill the texture,” but after a while he didn’t have to tell me that anymore. I learnt what the filters did and how to make different layers. I sometimes got mixed up between layers – so it was good to have my dad there to tell me when I was on the wrong layer. My dad and mum are good artists so they always gave me good advice and helped me with my book.
When I’d painted nine rabbits, ’ö-Dzin (one of my parents’ publishers) said he would make a calendar of my rabbits, and so I painted another three. Now the rabbits are on calendars, mugs, and refrigerator magnets. Because people liked my rabbits ’ö-Dzin asked me if I would like to write stories about them.
I said “Yes,” and my dad said he would help me with typing – because I am very slow and make lots of mistakes. So then I made up all these stories. I told my dad what was in the stories and he made notes and typed them. My dad helped me a lot by looking up weird and funny names on the internet for me. If I wanted rabbits to have a lot of names that started with the same letter we looked them up together and I chose the ones that sounded good. Sometimes I chose the names because I liked them – and sometimes I chose them because they sounded funny. My dad always liked loony names – or names like Borraccio from Shakespeare. I didn’t want to have a rabbit called Borraccio – but I did use it for one of the hedgehogs who live in the ‘Forest of Grunting Hedgehogs’.
My dad helped me when the story got confused and when I didn’t know how to end it. He gave me ideas and then I could change them round however I liked. Each story took a long time to write because I got tired after an hour and every time we started writing we had to read out the whole story again from the beginning so I’d get ideas for how to write more of the story.
I hope you like these stories because they were good fun to write – even though it was hard work.