Marcia Williams’ distinctive style developed through the illustrated letters she sent from boarding school to her parents overseas. She has now illustrated and retold her own popular versions of many literary classics in titles such as Greek Mythsand Mr. William Shakespeare’s Plays.
Her mother was a writer and her father was a playwright and theatre director which instilled in Williams a lifelong love of writing. She never received any formal illustration training; it is a skill that has always come naturally to her.
Williams had a number of jobs, including nursery teacher, which is when she developed her taste for story-telling to young children. Giving up teaching to paint, she studied watercolour at Richmond College and held some successful local exhibitions before a friend suggested that she take her work to show Walker Books. Thus began her successful career in publishing.
Williams has written and illustrated numerous books since The First Christmas was published in 1987. Many of these have been retellings of classic stories – from Noah’s Ark to Don Quixote – illustrated in her distinctive strip-cartoon style. She works in watercolours, which, she says, ‘are just unreliable enough to be interesting’.