I've been tagged by Paula Bowles to take part in 'The Next big Thing' blog tour of children's books, which began in Australia. You can see Paula’s post here.
I’m going to tell you about my latest book The Red Boat, which is published by Child’s Play.
Where did the idea for this book come from?
The idea from this book came from one little doodle in my sketchbook actually, which is often the way. I’d drawn a little girl sitting in a little boat, and immediately I started thinking about the possibility of it being a magic boat, and what that might mean....and of course, it meant flying! I was inspired by my favourite flying books from childhood, like ‘Father Christmas’ by Raymond Briggs and ‘The Flying Postman’ by VH Drummond, and the story quickly followed.
What genre does your book fall under?
It’s a picture book, if I had to pick a genre within that, the magical object genre, or finding your confidence genre!
Which actors would star in a move rendition of your book?
Hmm...I’m trying to think of a little girl actor with Mick Hucknall hair. Perhaps Vic Reeves as George the dog? No, I think it’ll have to be an animated version.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Posy doesn’t like her new house, and worries about everything from her new neighbours to her new school, but with a little help from George the dog and a magical red boat, she finds her confidence.
Who published your book?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The first draft doesn’t take too long, as I’m doing it with the pictures on a storyboard and just frantically trying to get the idea down really. However the first draft always needs quite a lot of work! It’s a starting point.
What other books would you compare this story to within your own genre?
That’s a difficult one, I’ve never really compared it with others (or I try not to, or I break out in a sweat), but stories about new situations, finding your confidence, books like 'Little Boat' by Thomas Docherty (more boats! They really do help build your confidence), or the 'Frog' series by Max Velthuijs, like 'Frog is Frog'.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I don’t know if it was any one person, probably just the little girl in the doodle that looked like she needed an adventure! I think I wanted to try and make a book a in the same vein as the ones that captured my imagination when I was younger, books about far off places, and anything being possible. I also always remember the end of one of my favourite films ‘The Labyrinth’, where Sarah, the main character finally comes home to reality, but knows the labyrinth and her new friends will be there should she need them. It’s about growing up, but taking magic and imagination with you. Posy doesn’t need the boat any more, but it’s there if she wants it.
What else about this book might pique the reader’s interest?
It has lions, tigers, talking polar bears, a friendly alien, and a crocodile enjoying tea and cake in it!
Next up, I’m tagging the lovely Jo Empson, check out her blog post later next week!