I first met Matt Novak working at the Disney Florida animation studio, known back in the late 1980s as the Disney MGM Studios. We were both working on Rollercoaster Rabbit
, and we were part of the Magic of Disney Animation ride, called by everyone who worked in it (safely out of earshot of anyone important) as The Goldfish Bowl, a walk-through animation installation where the public could witness actual animated films being made.
For me, just 19 years old and still studying at University, it was a paradise, an absurdly lucky break into one of the top studios in the animation business. I was there in the summer of 1989, and Matt had already started a career as an illustrator, having published his first book Rolling back in 1986
We got on famously, joining in obligatory trips to the local karaoke lounge, and even making it down to the Florida Keys, before my golden summer at Disney finally ended and I returned to England to continue my studies. Matt stayed on, but eventually left Disney to become a full-time writer and illustrator. Now, with around 20 books to his name, Matt has just published his latest book: Little Robot.