An interview with Pen Astridge


1514577_963155310384833_6201905622793008075_nPlease tell us a little about yourself.

About myself? Where do I start? I’m a Creative Director for Nationwide Advertising in Sydney. I also enjoy the odd shameless plug. I am a co-founder of the gaming news and reviews site Gamebug and I spend a lot of money on nendoroids from Anime at Abbotsford. I’m also constantly writing down new story ideas but between work, gaming, reading and long walks on the beach I struggle to find time to actually write the things.

These cute and fun cover arts we’ve come to see more and more from you on social media are very popular both amongst readers and authors. What is a Nendo-Cover-Art and how did you start doing them?

Nendo = short for Nendoroid, a chibi style figure distributed by Goodsmile Company. Cover-Art = as in the cover art of a book, but also used in the way you would with music i.e.: a cover song. They’re essentially a replica of an existing cover replacing the subject with a nendoroid.

It all started when I realised I had too many nendoroids and I was running out of room to store them. It was then that I decided to do what any sane person would do – take pictures of them. That then led to the epiphany of posing them as cover art because regular poses were just not that interesting. 

Also, I know a lot of authors pour their hearts and souls into their work and I’d like to think I can give them a little smile for their efforts.

10923190_963155423718155_9104930344193772111_nDo you also create images from scratch or does the excitement for you lie in manipulating them?

I basically take the parts I need from multiple nendoroids, put them together as one, pose them, take the photo then photoshop them. I get most excited when I find ways to make the poses work and when I see it all fall seamlessly into place. It may not look like it but ‘Kingy Jorgy of the Thrones’ was my greatest achievement. Getting the nendoroid to sit that way while still fitting on the throne was not easy.

As a reader what kind of books do you enjoy? Do you have any favourites?

I enjoy some of the classics, Austen and Thackeray are two of my all-time favourites. I also enjoy a bit of historical fiction, but for me mostly it’s fantasy. I’m a big big fan of the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks and more recently Pierce Brown’s Red Rising and Golden Son. But of course I probably wouldn’t be on here if it weren’t for Mark Lawrence. I also probably never would have come up with the Nendo-Cover-Art idea seeing as the Broken Empire trilogy was my first attempt at them. So yeah, Mr. Lawrence qualifies as a favourite.

You also write. What is it you’re currently working on?

I currently have twelve stories on the go that range from, historical fiction, to children’s lit, to fantasy and to sci-fi. I tend to work on each of them as the ideas come. I find it difficult working in multiple creative fields because I find I go through phases where ideas flow but very few move forward as I become creatively exhausted. Hopefully I’ll get there with one of my ideas soon.

10426329_963158237051207_5621659287843022841_nDo you think you might design covers professionally one day?

I would love to, it’s something I’ve always had a keen interest in. In fact I already have for a few of my mum’s books (PAULA ASTRIDGE.COM) and for some of Mark’s short stories. I also had to turn down an offer to do it a few years ago due to work commitments. But yes, definitely something I would want to do.

 Pen can be found on:     Facebook     Twitter    Deviantart    Wattpad.












by Agnes Meszaros


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