That's a Good Question...
Q: Why is Angelina a ballet dancing mouse?
A: I started writing about Angelina Ballerina when my two daughters were little girls, and I didn’t think of her as a mouse at first. My daughters loved dancing and performing, and I wanted to write stories for them and their little friends. Luckily, I met a wonderful illustrator named Helen Craig, and she drew Angelina as an adorable white mouse – it was absolutely perfect!
Q: Why did you want to become an author?
A: I’ve always enjoyed making up stories and using my imagination, and I love kids, so being a children’s author is the perfect job for me. I think writing for children is a responsibility as well as a privilege, because the books children listen to and read have a great impact. I always try to write from the heart and create stories that reflect how young children really feel and think.
Q: How do you think up all the stories?
A: That’s the fun part! It’s really interesting to daydream about a character like Angelina, and imagine what she’ll do in different situations. Some Angelina stories have come from real experiences my children had at school with their friends, but ideas can come from anywhere. Writers have big ears, and are always on the lookout for interesting stories!
Q: Where do you write and how long does it take to write a book?
A: I have a quiet blue room where I write and look out at trees and sky. It usually takes 6 - 8 weeks of writing and rewriting to get to the final draft of a 600-word picture book story ready. The next step is to send the text to the illustrator, and she usually works on the illustrations for several months... Finally, the finished story and the illustrations go to the publisher, and nine months later a gorgeous new Angelina or Twinkle book is published!
Q: Do you have any favorite books?
A: I’m a great book-lover and I have lots of favorite books. When I was young I loved books about animals, like ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and ‘Black Beauty’. Now I read all sorts of books, including lots of children’s books with my three grandchildren, and I’m a big Harry Potter fan.
Do you write your stories with a computer of a pen?
A: I take notes with pen and paper, but I use the computer for all my writing drafts. I organize and file what I write on my computer each day. When you’re a writer you spend lots of time rewriting and working with an editor, so you need to write clearly and use good spelling and punctuation!
There are so many good questions! Here are links to some interviews for answers to even more good questions: