Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Gareth's Story Planet Interview

When my first children's book was published (back in the last century) I didn't know any other published children's authors or illustrators who lived in my home town of Nottingham and it was several years before I met any. Things have changed and I now know several Nottingham-based children's book creators, including picture book creators Erika Meza, Frances Stickley and Lee Wildish. A recent addition to the list is Gareth Peter, whose first picture book, My Daddiesis published in May.

Gareth has set up a YouTube channel Gareth's Story Planet on which he posts videos describing his journey to becoming a published author and interviews with other picture book creators. I was honoured to be the subject of Gareth's first interview, recorded (against the cluttered backdrop of my office), earlier this year.

The interview is split into two halves, both of which can be watched below.

Part 1 in which I ramble on about how I became a children's writer, how I shamelessly exploited my children for inspiration and my love of The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.
For the benefit of any US viewers, when I say "I'm a bit of a republican," that's a republican with a small "r" as in a person who favours a non-hereditary head of state.

Part 2 in which I talk about how The Santa Trap could have had a very different ending, the benefits of collaborating closely with an illustrator from the very start of the writing process and the importance of diversity in content as well as character representation within picture books.

Gareth has already recorded several more interviews with terrific picture book creators including authors Caryl Hart, Peter Bentley, Timothy Knapman and illustrators Garry Parsons and Dapo Adeola … 
… so make sure you subscribe to his Gareth's Story Planet Youtube channel to catch them all.

Gareth's first picture book, My Daddies, a beautifully-rhymed tale of a family's adventures in imagination, is illustrated by Gary Parsons and published by Puffin on the 14 May 2020. You can pre-order a copy with free delivery from Hive stores using the link below.