Continuing our celebration of all things Fleur Hitchcock, we have an interview with her editor at HotKey who published her first book, ‘Sunday Times’ book of the month ‘Shrunk’ – Sara O’Connor.
What was your favourite children's book as a child?
Sara's Giant and the Upsidedown House by John Cunliffe
What is your favourite children's book as an adult?
Holes by Louis Sachar
What do you think makes children's books so inspirational?
There are no limits to the imaginative things writers can do in children's books. Young readers will go anywhere with you, as long as you are telling a good story.
What do you love about ‘Shrunk’, and what makes it stand out?
I fell in love with the miniature animals running about in Tom's room, plus the school bully gets shrunk while wearing a devil costume. I think the believable absurdity and humour makes it stand out, but also the gentle emotional pull. Fleur never says exactly what Tom wishes for, but you know, and it makes the end of the adventure even more sweet.
What made you want to work in children's publishing?
I took an introduction to children's writing class in my second year at university (Emerson in Boston) and I couldn't believe it was a job. As the teacher was holding up picture book galleys and explaining what they were, the clouds parted, the sun shone down, there may have been some trumpets, and I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do.
How many people worked on this book from arrival of manuscript to finished book on shelf?
Georgia Murray, copy editor
Jenny Jacoby, proofreader
Becca Langton, editorial assistant
Jet Purdie, art director
Andy Parker, cover illustrator
Tristan Banks, production
Cait Davies, sales & marketing
Sarah Benton, sales & marketing
Kate Manning, sales & marketing
Meg Farr, publicity
Ruth Logan, rights
Plus a typesetter, the printers, and the distribution team
Oh, and the ebook conversion house
Whew! I think that's it!