Wednesday, 27 August 2014

WOW! Let’s Celebrate; Comics, Graphic Novels and Magazines! Stew Magazine 3D Review; Non-Fiction Author Interview with Lisa Mann

Lisa Mann is children's write and a writer in residence at a school, she is also a contributor to Stew magazine writing non-fiction articles.

What was your favourite children’s book as a child?

I loved the Faraway Tree stories by Enid Blyton, I must have read those books dozens of times. The characters were so alive for me, it felt like they were my friends! I read Nineteen Eighty-Four as a teenager and it blew my mind.

What was your favourite children’s magazine/comic/annual as a child?

It was called Twinkle. My nanny bought it for me every week. I particularly loved a story about a little girl who ran a dolly hospital.

What is your favourite children’s book as an adult?

Okay, I’m going to cheat and split this question into categories... Favourite picture book is Penguin by Polly Dunbar because I share it with my six year old daughter and it makes us laugh so much. We know it by heart and recite it as we walk to school sometimes. My favourite book for middle grade is Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian because it’s not often that a book can make you properly cry. For older readers I love Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, because it’s totally original on lots of levels. I also love Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, which isn’t actually written for children but it tells the story of an incredible child.

Do you read comics/graphic novels as an adult? If so which is your favourite?

I must confess that I don’t. I’m a novel girl (pun intended).

What do you think makes children’s books so inspirational?

Sheer scope of emotion and imagination. Everything is new through the eyes of a child/young adult, and therefore unique and exciting. Well written literature for children really gets this across.

Why did you start writing for children?

I started writing for children when I was about 4. I tried to write for adults when I was in my teens, but looking back, it was really YA stuff. Then I went back to writing adventures for kids. So I’ve never really stopped. One day, when I feel grown up, I might be able to write for adults.

How do you get your ideas?

My best writing comes out of the blue – a character, image, emotion, predicament – then a story grows from it, sometimes a whole book. My best writing isn’t forced, it takes me by surprise.

How much research do you do for the articles you write?

A lot. 90% of ‘article time’ is spent on research. We’ve got a great library in Norwich. Once I really know what I’m talking about, writing the article itself comes quickly.

What is your favourite aspect of writing for children?

Sharing with children. I’m lucky enough to work in a local school, teaching creative writing to Gifted and Talented children as a writer in residence. I cannot express enough how much joy I get out of it. They are fantastic kids, full of ideas, humour, insight, dedication. To join in with that is a real privilege.

What are the challenges and benefits of writing to such a small word count?

You write it, edit it, send it, see it in print. Writing a longer piece of fiction takes years, you have to go beyond patience and almost switch off from time. So it’s lovely to have instant gratification every once in a while.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you're enjoying the Stew experience, Lisa. Your articles are always a great read.


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