Interview with Maudie Smith – Author of Opal Moonbaby
Maudie Smith is our February Author in Residence, here is our interview with Maudie…
Please tell us a little about yourself
I used to be an actor and so spent a lot of time riding around in transit vans, perched on scenery. I started writing for children a few years ago, when my own two daughters were walking and talking without assistance from me. I live with my family in a village near Bath where we have a huge, unmanageable garden, two cats, two chickens and a smattering of stick insects.
Please tell us a little about ‘About Zooming Time, Opal Moonbaby!’
Zooming!, as I call it for short, is the second book about Opal Moonbaby. If you haven’t already met her, Opal is an alien from the planet Carnelia. She was supposed to go back there at the end of the first book but she flunked her challenge and now she’s coming back to Earth to have another go. Martha, Opal’s favourite human, is really looking forward to going to school with Opal and looking after her there, but Opal being Opal, things don’t work out exactly as Martha expects – and that’s putting it mildly!
What are you working on now?
No surprises here. I’m working on the third Opal Moonbaby book! I’m also putting the finishing touches to a picture book called Milly and the Mermaids which is being illustrated by Antonia Woodward. Both books are due to be published in 2014, and I can hardly wait.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
• Carry a notebook wherever you go because the seeds of ideas are always out there.
• Write about something you want to write about, not what you think the market wants you to write about.
• When you get to the end of your book you’re probably just beginning, but don’t despair because you will have made a beautiful big canvas on which to work.
• If your finished draft looks like a jumper with three sleeves, don’t be afraid to chop one of them off. I usually have to do that.
What do you like to do outside of writing?
Gardening, reading, crosswords, knitting, gardening, yoga, tennis, gardening, going to the theatre, gardening, cooking, eating chocolate and er…gardening.
What are your top five childhood books?
I could name a huge number because I read loads when I was young. Here’s a selection that come immediately to mind but please don’t make me choose!
• Five Children and It by E Nesbit
• Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
• The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton
• A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
• Vermilion by Norah G Shaw. No one will know that one – it’s about a young and independent-minded ogress with bright red hair who goes around with a drummer boy called Ratapan and a dragon called Spooflunks.
About Zooming Time, Opal Moonbaby is available to buy now.