Posts Tagged ‘Waterstone’s Guildford’

Cheese ‘n Ham Melts and other Strange Questions: An Interview With Lauren Child (Part 2)

Part two of Izzy and Daisy’s interview with author Lauren Child
Everyone knows that Clarice Bean is exceptionordinarily keen about the Ruby Redfort books. Now in her own starring role, this genius code-cracker and daring detective, along with her sidekick butler, Hitch, work for a secret crime-busting organization called Spectrum. Ruby gets into lots of scrapes with evil villains, like being trapped in a giant hourglass or held over a flaming volcano, but shes always ice-cool in a crisis. Just take a classic screwball comedy, add heaps of breathtaking action, and multiply it by Lauren Childs writing genius, and what have you got? Only the most exciting middle-grade series since, like, ever

Ruby Redfort is a spy thriller/mystery. Did you read a lot of mystery books as a child?
You know what, my sister read a lot of mystery books. She was a massive reader, she still is. I didn’t read a lot of mystery books but I did watch a lot of mystery things on TV. When I was younger it was Scooby Doo! and as I got older more drama things and now I read a lot of mystery as an adult. But my sister was the one who was passionate about it.

Where did you get the idea for Ruby Redfort’s gadgets?
I watched such a lot of James Bond films when I was a child and the ones that I really loved the most were the ones that were disguised as something. So I thought James Bond has disguised his as things a man might carry in his pocket and so I thought what would a school kid carry. So I thought her watch, which has got a cartoon face on it, Daisy: The toaster? Yeh the toaster, normal domestic objects in your kitchen and then things like her sneakers.
I wanted things that she could have and no one would ask any questions.

If you could choose one, which gadget would you like in real life?
I think that I would choose the rescue watch because it’s there to do lots and lots of different things and it would always be on your wrist. In each book it will do something different.

The Ruby Redfort books are a series that Clarice Bean talks about. Are we reading them at the same time as Clarice Bean?
You see that’s a very strange and weird question!
I did think about this a lot because I list all of the titles, don’t I (indicating a Clarice bean Book) and I did think why don’t I write each one that she talks about. Then I realized that I’d written extracts from that book and when I started writing Ruby Redfort, I didn’t want them to be quite so silly as they are in this book ( indicates Don’t look Now Clarice Bean). So I thought what I’m going to do? Because they are written by Patricia F Maplin and my publisher didn’t think it would be a very good idea to write Patricia F Maplin on the cover, then nobody would know they were written by me.

Clarice Bean might be reading them now, so might be if I write another Clarice Bean, it might that she will be reading Look In To My Eyes. Because Ruby Redfort is older now, she’s thirteen. In Clarice Bean she’s eleven.
So yeh, it’s a very weird thing.

How does it feel to see your characters on the TV screen?
I worked on the show the whole way through. So I would go in there two days a week and I looked at all the scripts and I would do the dialogue for the characters. So I worked very closely with the designer and I would draw things for them, so I was kind of aware of how things were going to come out but you never know until the last minute if it is really going to be lovely or not.
I was very fussy about the voices; I wanted the voices to be children’s voices and the right kind of voices. I was involved but it was still a lovely feeling to actually see it. You don’t quite know until the very last minute if it is going to be something to be proud of. I was very excited to see it.

Following on from the Charlie and Lola TV show, some books have been published that haven’t been written by you, how does it feel?
It’s strange. When we were making the show we would have big meetings about what would make a good story for the show. I was very sure that they had to be about the little things that would happen to a four year old. So they can’t be made things like going off to Disney land because they don’t do that in their normal life.
Most of the show is set in their house and often inside their bedrooms so they need to be about brushing their teeth or about having to have a bath, about very, very simple things.

Then the script writers would go and write them and I would sit there ( motions crossing out ) and go NO they cant say that, they have to say this. I did have a lot of control, but it is still strange when you see the original Charlie and Lola books, of which I have written four and all the other ones have come from the Charlie and Lola TV(program), so it is quiet odd to see my name on them.

In the Clarice Bean books Ruby Redfort is being made it to a film. Is that going to happen?
I hope that it might one day. It is a very long thing because it involves someone investing lots and lots of money, so they have to be very, very sure that it is going to work.
So I think the more books I write, the more books I sell, the more likely it is that it will happen. But at the moment we all hope it will

A question from one of our followers on Facebook: What is your favorite sandwich?
Oh well that can change minute to minute but at the moment I’m quite the fan of the ham and cheese melt.

Izzy’s Thoughts
Meeting Lauren Child? It felt AMAZING
She was very smiley, friendly and happy. She always answered the questions in quite a lot of detail. It was great fun and I loved it. It’s not every day you get to interview Lauren Child and I still think about it A LOT!

Daisy’s Thoughts
After queuing for a long time the wait was finally over. Armed with our Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort books we went forward. and got to meet Lauren Child herself!!! she was very friendly and chatty. She told us everything about her books and we interviewed her for ages. We found out lots about her books that we didn’t know. Definitely worth the wait ! !
It was a memorable day, hopefully the first of many author interviews for me…..

A massive thanks is owed to Lauren, her publicity team at Harper Collins Children’s Books and the fantastic events team at Waterstone’s Guilford. To learn even more about Lauren and her work visit her website here!

Interview by Izzy(8) and Daisy(11)

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Noisy Neighbours and Snipping with Scissors: An Interview With Lauren Child (Part 1)

Thanks to those lovely book sellers at Waterstone’s Guildford, Daisy(11) and Izzy (8)recently got the opportunity to interview, awesome author, Lauren Child.

It’s not easy to concentrate at school when mysterious things are happening all around you. In fact, Clarice Bean is starting to feel just like her favorite heroine: Ruby Redfort, schoolgirl detective. Clarice and her utterly best friend, Betty Moody, are planning to ace their book project about Ruby and win the class prize, until Betty disappears into thin air, and horrible teacher Mrs. Wilberton teams Clarice up with the naughtiest boy in school. Will her new partner ruin everything? Will Betty ever come back? And what on earth happened to the silver trophy everyone’s hoping to win? Lauren Child brings her trademark wacky wit and eccentric visual energy to a full-length, fastpaced Clarice Bean episode that will charm even the most capricious reader

Where do you get the inspiration for your books?
In Clarice Bean the picture book there is a boy who shouts a lot and he is the neighbor of Clarice Bean and he was my neighbor while I was writing the book. So he was someone who was actually outside of my window.

So from everywhere really and some things just pop in to my head and I don’t know where they come from.

Where did you get the inspiration to use different fonts and textiles?
I’ve just always been very keen on textiles and I don’t know why but when I was a child I used to love going to peoples houses and looking at how they decorated, what colours they used and everything. So I have always been interested in that.

And fonts, well I think that they are just beautiful things. The fact that they have all been designed differently for different things. Whether it’s advertising or a book, they all have different uses and I think that they are very nice to use in illustration to bring out the character of your character. Clarice Bean’s font is very different from her brothers font, Milo’s font. Because he is younger it is much more babyish. It show’s you immediately the differences between them.

Which of your characters is the most fun to write?
I Like writing about all of them. You have to feel strongly about your characters. I have loved writing about Charlie and Lola, I still do so I probably am going to do more.But Clarice Bean is my favorite, because I can write as her. I can write about the things that meant a lot to me when I was a child. It’s also fun to write about Ruby Redfort as well because it is a completely different thing, imagining yourself as someone completely different.

How long does it take to write a Lauren Child book?
It depends on the book and often I’m doing lots and lots of different things at the same time so that can make things take longer. This Ruby Redford, the first one (indicates Look In To My Eyes), took about two years but I was doing other things and I had to set the scene- Who were her friends?What was her family like?-I had to do everything from scratch, this (indicates Take Your Last Breath) only took a year to write because I knew all of those things already.

Clarice Bean (indicates books), these took a long time to write but that was because I was working on a television show which took up a lot of time so I (pauses) I think that there is a two year gap between each Clarice Bean. I was working on them the whole time with lots of stopping and starting.

When I do a picture book it’s usually six months.

What do you use to draw your illustrations?
I use pencil, just a normal pencil. But what I often do is enlarge things then. So I scan things. I cut things out. I do lots of cutting and pasting. And I, I did that really because. Um (pauses) You see lots of illustrators who are really amazing at knowing exactly where they want things to go.There is an illustrator called Chris Riddell and I remember watching him draw and he seems to know exactly how the picture is going to be just from his head. I know Quentin Blake, I’ve seen him draw and he plots things first so he knows what the picture is going to look like and then he draws it. I just do it as I’m going along which means I often make mistakes, and I don’t quite know how its going to be so I draw every single thing separately and then snip it out with my scissors, and then arrange it on the bit of paper.

Was it intentional for Clarice Bean to age with her readers?
I wasn’t really expecting to do that when I started. I mean, she starts off in the picture books about seven years old and I chose that age because I remember thinking that it was a really lovely age to be and I quite enjoyed being seven.

Then when I started doing the novels I though that it would be quiet nice for her to talk about things that were more complicated as you got older and things are perhaps less one way or the other. You start to realise that (pauses), like in Spells Trouble, I don’t know if you have read that Clarice Bean (Daisy indicates her copy of the book on the table) Oh! *laughs* sorry, I do know you’ve read this! So in that one she starts to realise that it is not always clear what the wrong thing and the right thing is **spoiler for book excluded from transcript** The black and white starts to go, and you realise that you have to go with your gut feeling. So it seemed right that she should get older.

There is something a bit sad in Don’t Look Now, because she is dealing with people leaving you and that feeling that things change. As you get older things really change. I hope that it feels happier at the end. Just because things change it doesn’t mean that things can’t change for the better.

It wasn’t intentional, but it just seemed right because I wanted to write about things that effect people more your age (indicating Daisy 11) as well as your age (indicating Izzy 8).

You have written lots of stories for young children through to teenagers. Why didn’t you stick to just one age range?
Because it is really fun trying something different and I like doing each thing as much as the other. I’ve done some Charlie and Lola board books which were really fun because it’s like a challenge to make the shortest, simplest book that someone is going to enjoy, and do the pictures and that’s a lovely thing to do. But I also love writing stuff that is complicated like this (points to Clarice Bean) and thinking about writing for young teenagers.
There are lots of different sides to reading and I like to try new things. There are many more things that I would like to do.

Who is your favourite author?
My favourite author of children’s books? Any one?
Oh that’s very hard. I think (pauses) Well my favorite illustrator is Quentin Blake and in the end I have always loved him the most. Although I love many, many illustrators. He’s probably my most favourite.

My favorite children’s author (pauses) they were around when I was a child and you can still get their books now, actually I’ve got one here (pulls book out of bag) because I was talking about this book the other day. The Eighteenth Emergency by Betsy Byars, and she’s a wonderful, wonderful writer, so I still love her books. I think they are amazing.

And grown up books, well again there are so many people, but there’s an author called Rose Tremain, she’s written a lot of books but my favourite one of hers is called Restoration. Although it’s set in history around the reign of king Charles II, a long long time ago, you see lots of things in common with your own life.

Come back next week to read the part two of Daisy and Izzy’s interview with Lauren child. In the mean time you can discover more about Lauren and her work by clicking here to visit her website and learn about Guildford Waterstone’s upcoming book events by visiting their events page here.

Interview by Daisy (11) and Izzy (8)

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