Friday, 15 December 2017

Interview with children`s author Pippa Goodhart

A few weeks ago, I met a cashier at my local Sainsbury's store and we got talking about my impending book signing. She was very interested and mentioned the name of a local author who wrote children's books as well. She said that her son who is now an adult,  had a favourite book as a child written by this author whose name she recalled as Pippa Goodhart.
I love to connect with writers as the profession is still very new to me. I was intrigued and so I decided to search for Pippa Goodhart on the internet. I found her website which is colourful, inviting and full of information and details about her many children`s books. Some you may know like her series of Winnie the Witch books.
Her web page is
I managed to message Pippa through her FaceBook page and she agreed to be interviewed by me. I feel very privileged that she took the time to answer my questions and share her publishing/writing experience. I have also learned something about the industry as well as about Pippa`s experiences, influences and plans for the future.
How long have you been writing for?
I began when I was at home with small children in the 1990s, so Ive now been writing for a quarter of a century!  
What is your favourite children’s author and why?
I have lots of different favourite authors of different kinds of books to suit different moods and occasions.  
What is the inspiration behind your books?
Life, I suppose.  Im interested in things and explore them through stories.  
You have written some amazing books including the `Winnie the Witch` series. What is your favourite book and why?
My favourite of my own books is You Choose, for a number of reasons.  I felt very sure that it was a good idea, but had to battle to get it published and then it slowly grew and grew, and has now sold over a million copies.  Its the book children bring to show me in the tattiest condition; loved to bits!  All thanks to Nick Sharratts wonderful cornucopia of pictures, of course.  
I can see that you have written one adult novel. Will you be writing more books for adults?
I wrote that because I was able to get an Arts Council grant to pay for writing time, on condition that I was writing something in a different genre from my usual work writing.  I wrote it in the person of an old lady, and enjoyed that!  I dont have any plans at the moment for more writing for adults, but you never know.
What book are you working on now?
Today Im working on an early reader version of The Little Mermaid, written to commission.
What `s the best part of writing for you?
I love the playing around with ideas, before the hard work of writing and rewriting even begins.
How did you get your first book published?
I wrote it for a competition, which it was runner-up in, but didnt win.  So I sent it to an agent, and she took me on and sold it.
What has your publishing journey been like?
Interesting, challenging, rewarding.
How long does it take for you to complete one of your children’s storybooks?
That varies enormously.  One of my historical adventure stories might take two or three years, partly because I do quite a lot of research, partly because they are of novel length, and partly because I need to write other books at the same time or we’d starve!  A picture book, if I’ve got a strong idea, might only take a week or two.
Have you had any bad experiences with your publishing/writing journey?
Ive had the usual suddenly being dropped by a publishing house, having books given what I feel is the wrong cover, disappointments over books dropped out of print before theyve had a chance to make their mark, etc etc.  But Ive had many more positive experiences.
To what do you attribute your success?
Hard work and making the most of opportunities, and doing those things because I love the job.  I do realise how lucky I am to make a living this way.  
Have you any future plans you could share with us?
Ive got a new historical novel for 8-12s coming out next July.  Its title still isnt fixed, but possibly, The Boy Who Found Dragons.  Its set here, in my village, in the 1860s when they were digging for coprolites and making discoveries about evolution.  And the first of a new series of Winnie the Witch chapter books will be coming out next Christmas.  Lots of writing projects in the pipeline, and more teaching of writers.
Two more of Pippa's newer books. You can buy her many books from Amazon.
I particularly love the sound of `Chapatti Moon.`

Thank you, Pippa, for this interesting and honest interview.

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