For this post I'm interviewing Sally Gardner author of the 2008 Cybils nominee The Red Necklace, (its sequel The Silver Blade just came out) I, Coriander, and several books for younger readers. So without further ado, here's more about Sally Gardner!
What’s the best thing about being a published author?
That you can work at home at your own speed. That you're in a very small percentage of people who are lucky enough to make a living from what they love doing.
Why did you choose to write novels with historical backgrounds? What are the challenges of writing in this particular genre?
The main reason is this dreadful PC world we know live in which means young adults and children are unable to have an adventure, take risks - the past isn't PC, and that's that. Also the distance in time is very good for setting stories in as it means young people can look at things with a moat of time around them enabling them to deal with subject matters that if written in modern day would be too hard for a young reader to deal with (child cruelty, abuse, neglect, abandoment). In England history is neglected as a school subject and I'm fearful of neglecting the past and I feel it has great lessons to teach us. Changes are historical accuracy and finding all those little bits that fall through the slipstream of history - trying to put your fingertips into history and not to be a tourist once you get there is the challenge.
In your bio it mentions your struggle with dyslexia. Was it hard to overcome this in order to have a career as a writer?
Yes it completely made me feel that the notion of being a writer was an impossibility. School had done a great deal to make sure I knew that writing was something completely out of my reach. Then one day I realised that writing is like singing - you've either got a voice or you haven't. It just took me a long time to acknowledge that I could sing. One of the main things is not whether one can spell or has perfect grammar, but if you have a love of words, a love of reading and a love of story.
It’s a sort of tradition around here for me to ask about pets. So can you tell us a little about your two dogs?
I have a wonderful big standard long Dachshund called Oscar who will be 14 in March. His claim to fame is that he was the Brooklyn Bridge at the Christmas dog party where he stood on two boxes while other little dogs went under him. As a puppy he appeared in the US Ikea catalouge wearing a littler red jacket. He was the only dog who disgraced himself by pooing on the white laminate floor much to the horror of the ad man. Lottie is a very small mini Dachshund who's two years old with a character bigger than the Brooklyn Bridge, she's feisty, charming and the biggest flirt known to the dog world. Her best friends are a great dane and several bull staffs and one basset hound.
Can you give us a sneak peek at The Silver Blade?
It's just been released in America and hopefully some good news about a forthcoming film...
Ooh exciting! Thanks for stopping by to chat. :)
To learn more about Sally (and to see some of her great illustration work) head over to her website and check it out.