We recently had a chat with Giles Andreae, World of Happy author. Here’s what he had to say about reading and the craft of writing.
What was your favourite book, character or game when you were a child?
I Loved Dr. Seuss’s “Yertle the Turtle.” It’s an extraordinary parable about equality and dignity. But, to this 5 year old, it was also a hilarious slapstick David and Goliath story… and all with turtles!
When did you decide to become a writer?
I never really made a decision to become a writer. My first poems were published while I was still a student and things just went on and grew from there.
Where do you like to write? Do you use a computer, or hand write your stories?
I love writing in my studio. It’s a beautiful space just by the river. I’m very lucky. I usually write prose on a computer and verse by hand, as writing verse is quite like doing a crossword puzzle – it helps to spread words all over the paper!
What are you reading now? Do you read ebooks or book apps?
I’ve just got an iPad, so I’m still excited about electronic newspapers and magazines. I’d like to say that nothing can touch the feel of a beautifully produced children’s picture book, but times are changing.
Do you think kids experience stories differently when they read a paper book or a digital book?
Children are beginning to expect books to be interactive because they engage so much with electronic media now. I recently heard of a child in the US holding a book and saying “it doesn’t work”. I do think there’s something magical about sharing a printed book with a child, but watching them take a book at their own pace on screen is fascinating too.
What is it like to see your stories in Magic Town?
It’s the closest experience I’ve seen as an author to how I want my books to come across on a digital platform. I think the balance between education and entertainment is just about right. It’s very exciting indeed!