I’m of course looking forward to meeting up with people who like books, that’s what the festivals are about, but festivals are also a great place to meet up with fellow writers and illustrators. Being an author can be a lonely job sometimes.
I’m also hoping to go to some events myself. The list of speakers is huge.
When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
I studied fine art and worked mainly as a graphic designer. It was when my first daughter was born that I started to illustrate books for children.
The first were books written by somebody else, later I wrote the books myself. It was quite a natural process and it’s much easier to illustrate your own text.
At the time when I wrote my first picture book I was thirty years old.
What book do you find yourself re-reading most often?
My favourite book is The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I’ve read the book a couple of times.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
I would probably still like to do something involving paint, pencils and brushes, but I also love the smell of wood. Maybe a carpenter, that would be nice.
And finally, we have a number of aspiring writers attending the Festival. What one piece of advice would you give them?
Keep writing. See it as a game. Just play. Be honest with yourself. Enjoy the work. Don’t rush it. When it’s finished, put it in a drawer for three months. If you still like it when you take it out, then that’s a good sign and starting point.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t finish a story. It’s okay to start another one.
One day you will finish a story and it will be good.