Saturday 25 June 2016

Tommy V Cancer - 3D Review - The Terrible Tale of Melody Doom - Tommy Donbavand – Editor Interview with Danny Pearson

Today we are concluding our 3D review of Tommy Donbavand's, The Terrible Tale of Melody Doom with an interview with his editor Danny Pearson.

Danny Pearson is senior editor at Badger Learning. To find out more about Danny and Badger follow
@Danny_D_Pearson  and @BadgerLearning.

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

I would love to say something romantic like at the age of four I had my head in The Wind in the Willows or War and Peace, which are pretty much the same book, but I can’t. I loved non-fiction books especially a book that may not have been entirely appropriate for me at a young age - The Usborne Guide to the Supernatural World. Worth a look see if you ever get the chance. The images alone are horrific. I don’t know how Usborne thought it was appropriate for anyone under the age of 18! But no complaints from me as they all helped mold me into the human I am today.

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

I have become a massive fan of picture books. To tell a story using a very limited amount of words (sometimes now words) is a tricky task. A lot of professional writers struggle when faced with the limits of a low word count. I am a very visual being and I love to see how the illustrator has interpolated the writers words.

It is impossible for me to narrow down all the books I have seen and to say ‘That one... that one there is the best there has ever been!’ But I will say among the best modern picture books I have seen are The Day the Crayons Quit and Oi Frog. Again, worth a look see if you ever get the chance.

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

Passion!!!... and a good marketing team who have a bottomless pot of gold as their budget,

Illustration's by Peter Richardson
What made you want to work in children’s publishing?

I heard it paid well. I can confirm that it does not. Unless you are JK Rowling.

But in all honesty I used to work in a Waterstones store. I was promoted to looking after the entire Children’s department and from there my love of children’s books came flooding back. I wanted to be on the ‘other side’. I wanted the chance to make the books!

What makes The Terrible Tale of Melody Doom stand out?

The plot is great and it grabbed my attention as soon as it arrived onto my desk.

Following her supervillain parents being captured and locked away in jail, Melody Doom is adopted by a family who couldn’t be more different to hers.

Her goody two shoes foster family are a complete nightmare. They sing songs, wear bright colours and, worst of all, play charades every night! Melody knows she needs to escape, but how?

Hatching a plan involving her fluffy pink foster sister as a sidekick, Melody attempts to break into the jail and release her parents. But will the pony-loving princess give the game away?

Find out in The Terrible Tale…

I loved it!

Badger Books Gems are designed for challenged readers. Does this impact how you edit these books?

Massively! Thankfully Tommy is an expert at writing for reluctant/ struggling readers and knows what language we can use. The imagery in these books can say more than what a 100 words can a lot of the time. Tricky, long and hard to decode words are out in most cases. This does make it very difficult for an author to keep the story entertaining but the prized authors I work with make it look easy.


Tommy V Cancer was initially started to create moral support for Tommy and his family in the difficult time, but as his battle has gone on, the reality of being a jobbing writer (like any self-employed professional) has reared its ugly head; income. So if after reading this of any you wish to find out more about Tommy’s battle, or how to support him, visit: Tommy V Cancer.

Also Don't forget to check out the other posts in the Tommy V Cancer Blog Tour...

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