QAB Interview: Author and Graphic Designer Verity Ridgway

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Verity Ridgway (Photo Credit: Christian Rdgway)
Verity Ridgway
(Photo Credit: Christian Ridgway)

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The recently released Illustrated Kings and Queens of England, an absolutely breathtaking and beautiful coffee table book highlighting not only the monarchs of England, but also the remarkable art and craftsmanship of 19th century engravers, is truly the result of the combined talents of historical writer Claire Ridgway, her husband graphic designer, Tim Ridgway — and perhaps most remarkably, their daughter, 14 year old Verity.

Verity Ridgway is a remarkably talented young woman. A British child living in Spain, Verity is bilingual, an accomplished and published creative writer of short stories, and an artistic graphic designer. She certainly provides an shining example of the talents many youth possess, and Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers is proud to highlight her accomplishments.

QAB recently caught up with Verity. Our interview with this bright and articulate child follows:

1. Verity, it is my understanding that you were very involved in the colorization of the engravings included in the Illustrated Kings and Queens of England. What was the process you used to do this? Did you need to complete any research to determine what colors to use? Did you contribute to the book in other ways that I am unaware of?

I was responsible for 11 out of 59 of the illustrations. I used photoshop and a graphics tablet to colour the images. To make the illustrations accurate I searched for portraits of the monarchs and then used the colours from those portraits (hair, clothes) as closely as I could.

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King Edward II (Graphic design colorization by Verity Ridgway)
King Edward II
(Graphic design colorization by Verity Ridgway)

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2. What did you find most interesting about your contribution towards the Illustrated Kings and Queens of England? Do you have a favorite engraving?

My favourite engraving is the one of Edward II, which was the first one I did. It’s my favourite because that’s the one that was a real test for me, I could test out everything my Dad taught me and perfect it. I loved doing his beard. I had fun messing around too – I drew moustaches on some monarchs (on hidden layers)!

3. How long would the average colorization take? Is this painstaking work? Or did you find it easy to do?

About two hours. It was very hard, many of them were very intricate and detailed. Elizabeth I had lots of little details.

4. Verity, I am a short story writer. I was very interested to learn that you already have a short story, Talia’s Adventures: Camp Under Attack, published in both English and Spanish. What genre is your short story? Can you tell me about your journey in creating your story?

It’s a children’s adventure story. Two summers ago Mum and Dad wanted to keep us busy during the summer holidays so they made up a competition. Me and my brothers had to write a story and the first one to be finished, to be good enough to publish and to sell to someone who wasn’t family won a prize. I was the only one to finish my story. Mum and Dad edited it and published it. I illustrated it myself. I wrote it in Spanish too so that my friends could read it. My brother helped me with that and a teacher from my school checked it and edited it. The local bookshop did a book signing event for me which was very exciting.

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Queen Elizabeth Tudor (Graphic design colorization by Verity Ridgway)
Queen Elizabeth Tudor
(Graphic design colorization by Verity Ridgway)

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5. Do you have any suggestions for children or teenagers interested in creative writing as to how they might get started?

Just write whatever you want, it doesn’t matter what it’s about.

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Verity, your mother told me that you moved to Spain when you were nearly six years old. My next few questions are about your life in Spain.

6. Verity, how long have you lived in Spain? Do you ever miss Great Britain?

8 years. We moved when I was five, nearly six. I don’t miss the UK at all apart from Fish and Chips, and Cadbury’s chocolate.

7. If you could give any advice to a child or teenager about moving to a new home in another country, what would you suggest?

I don’t know, I was only 5. Probably, don’t worry about moving.

8. I understand that you are fluent in both English and Spanish. Did you know how to speak Spanish when you arrived in Spain? How hard was it learn Spanish?

I didn’t know any Spanish before we moved. I found it easy to learn because I was at school for 5 hours a day with Spanish children and teachers who didn’t know English.

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Verity with her mother Claire Ridgway shortly after she moved from England to Spain.
Verity with her mother Claire Ridgway shortly after she moved from England to Spain.

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9. I know this question is silly, but I am only able to speak and write in English, so I am very curious. When you think to yourself or dream at night, do you think or dream in English or Spanish?

It depends. When I dream about my Spanish friends I dream in Spanish, but sometimes I dream in English. When I’m at school I think in Spanish but when I’m at home with my family I think in English.

10. I know your mother is a history writer, and your father is a graphic designer, web designer and publisher. Do you share any of their interests? What are your own favorite interests?

I like reading and writing like Mum. I want to be a teacher when I grow up, like my Mum used to be.

11. Do you have any new projects on the horizon?

I’ve started writing my next book. It’s a prequel to Talia’s Adventures and is about the War of Power, a theme in my first book.

THANK YOU VERITY!!! We look forward to the release of your new book and would be very interested in highlighting it on Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers when it releases.

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illustrated_kings_and_queens_of_england

To Purchase Illustrated Kings and Queens of England, Click the Link Below!

Illustrated Kings and Queens of England

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talias adventures

To Purchase Talia’s Adventures, Camp Under Attack, Click the Link Below!

Talia’s Adventures, Camp Under Attack, Book One

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QUEEN ANNE BOLEYN YOUTH BLOG

Tyler, son of Tanya Lewis and Jan ____ of Eastham, MA is a lover of American History.
Tyler is the son of Tanya Lewis and Jan Amaral of Eastham, Massachusetts, USA. Tyler is proudly holding his award for academic excellence in American History.

 

Do you have a child or adolescent in your life that loves history as much as Verity and Tyler? Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers would be happy to host your child’s work. Whether art, graphic design, poetry or prose, QAB will delightfully publish your child’s talent in our new featured blog, “Queen Anne Boleyn Youth Blog”. Your child’s work may highlight a topic of history from any historical era of World History. Your child’s work need not be perfect. All we ask that he or she extend best effort.

Members of Queen Anne Boleyn Historical Writers directly writing on the website must be 18 years of age or older. The work of children under the age of 18 will be published as a courtesy by the administrator of the website with parental consent required.

To submit entries to the “Queen Anne Boleyn Youth Blog”, email submissions to Royal Squire at hisgracetcanterbury@gmail.com.

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Beth von Staats

is the owner and administrator of QueenAnneBoleyn.com. The author of "Thomas Cranmer in a Nutshell", Beth specializes in writing magazine articles, online historical articles, short stories, and flash fiction.

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