rob towner - author / illustrator

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Hey friend. My names rob. Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by my website.

While I’ve got your attention, I should probably introduce myself. I’m a children’s author and illustrator. It’s a pretty cool job. I get paid to make up stupid, immature stories (mainly for my own amusement), I get to draw awful, ridiculous pictures of animals, I get to meet other authors and illustrators who I think are cool, and sometimes I even get to visit school assemblies across Australia to talk to children about how important reading and writing is. Did you know that studying extra hard and getting good grades in school is by far the coolest thing anyone can do? It’s true. School is the coolest. But anyways, yeh. That’s me in a nutshell. I make children’s books.

And guess what… making children’s books isn’t the only fun thing I like to do. Some other things I like to do include: eating pea and ham soup, playing chess, saying the word ‘wowee’, listening to jazz, watching my favourite tv show ‘Survivor’ and snorkelling in the ocean.

If I could be any animal in the entire world, I would probably be an elephant beetle. That way I could prance around the beach all day squirting salt water in my face.

If you have read all the way up to this point, there’s some blog posts below if you feel like checking them out. If you want to be double cool, you can also help me out by subscribing to my newsletter below. I promise not to spam you. I’ll just flick you an email whenever I create a new story.

Who am I?

Let me preface with this; everyone on this planet is a writer, telling their story through the life they live. Maybe you’re telling your story with music, art, work, religion, sport, family or whatever... I don’t know. What I do know is I’m no different. I’m just telling some stories here. So for me to be all like oh, look at me I’m a writer is weird to me because I reckon everyone is.

That being said, I write and illustrate children’s stories. Someone once asked me, why children’s stories? I replied with... I don’t know.

Maybe it’s because I like how short they are and that even the simplest creature on the planet could write one if they truly wanted to. Or maybe it’s because I like how much they can get away with distorting the fabric of reality and crossing the bounds of physics whilst still seeming plausible.

I think the main reason is just because I love seeing kids smile. Yes. That's the reason. Making kids smile is my business and I have found that there is no better way to turn a frown upside down than to be lost inside a book. But it can’t be any ordinary book. It HAS to be weird.

When I was a kid, my favourite books were written by the legendary Roald Dahl. I have such fond memories of diving into the weird, made-up worlds of George’s Marvellous Medicine, The BFG, The Twits and The Witches. And so what if these stories weren’t “real”. They were real enough to me. And they made me smile.

At school, I never liked reading because it was more of something you HAD to do, not something you did for the pure joy. Now though, I read as much as I can and love stretching my wings into every genre imaginable, searching for weirdness in unexpected places.

I have read romance novels, dark fantasy adventures, westerns, true crime stories, biographies, thrillers, mysteries, you name it. And it is true... weirdness isn’t just confined to the realms of children’s literature. But I always come back to children’s books because that’s where I first started.

When I am putting a story together, I believe it’s my job to make it as weird as I possibly can. My hope and prayer is that one day, one kid, somewhere, will pick up one of my books and dive into it just like I did with Roald Dahl books, let out a smile and think to him or herself "Man, that Rob Towner is one weird guy".

Read my latest interview

If you're a writer and you only learn one thing from me, please let it be this... Joining a writing organisation won't make you a better writer.