My pal Trevor Romain (you may remember him from An Illustrated Life) is a huge-hearted and talented artist in Austin, Texas and I was so excited to get the following email from him:
Hi brother Danny -
I hope this e-mail finds you well and happy. My new book, ‘Random Kak‘, was just released in South Africa. I wanted to share this exciting news with you as one night in your flat in New York (many years ago), while pouring over your journals (and pouring vanilla vodka) you urged me to document growing up in South Africa as an illustrated memoir in my journal. Patti nagged me about it every time I spoke to her. Some time later, I finally posted some of my journal entries on various Facebook and blog pages and it went viral. Then I was approached by Penguin Books in South Africa to do a three-book series based on my little drawings and notes.
Your last blog post with Cynthia Morris was a wonderful validation and reminded me once more of how much you have inspired and supported me over the years. I am now using this illustrated memoir technique to help children in refugee camps in Africa and children who are terminally ill, share and express their feelings, and their story, even if it’s just in stick figure style. When I met Nelson Mandela a number of years ago he said, “When a person dies, their library of stories dies with them. So they must share their story so that it is not forgotten. Even the most simple story can teach and inspire other people.“
I can honestly say if it weren’t for you this book would still be an idea waiting to happen. Thank you again for unlocking the door and inspiring me to walk into my past where I gathered arm-fulls of great memories and turned them into my newest book.
Hope to see you soon,