Friday, March 1, 2013

ReadItDaddy Interview Time - We put 6 super-taxing questions to Joanna Gray, Author of "The Little Raindrop" (Top That! Publishing)

Joanna Gray and her Children's Picture Book debut "The Little Raindrop" - Awesome smile, Joanna!
Ever since a rather mysterious little raindrop started appearing in our Twitter feed we've wondered who it was and what it was all about. Now we know! Welcome to first time author Joanna Gray as she stops by ReadItDaddy for an interview and to talk about her debut, "The Little Raindrop" from Top That! Publishing, which is out today, Hooray!

ReadItDaddy: Congratulations on your first book "The Little Raindrop" coming from Top That on March 1st. Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Joanna: I live in Leeds with my husband, our three children; Nathan (6), Will (4) and Karin (4) – yes they are twins, and our dog, Buster. I work in the Head Office of a Bank where my day job is analysing numbers. It is about as far away from what people expect from an author as possible!

I’m a very energetic, happy person and I love to live life to the full. I love spending time with my family and friends, usually outside running around with the children having fun.

When I’m not being a Mum, working in my day job, or writing, I like to read. I have also recently become quite addicted to Twitter (Yep, us too :)

ReadItDaddy: What was the inspiration for "The Little Raindrop" ? (apart from the - er - interesting weather we've had recently :)

Joanna: Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to write a book but as I grew up and became more mathematically focussed I put that dream aside. However, after having my eldest son and spending countless hours enjoying reading books to him I began to start thinking about writing again. The Little Raindrop was an idea that came to me as I was trying to get to sleep one night. I had to get out of bed and write it all down before I could get to sleep.

ReaditDaddy: We're a bit green when it comes to how books come together but are fascinated by the ties between author, illustrator and publisher. How closely did you get to work with Top That and Dubravka Kolanovic (the illustrator) while the book was in the early stages before going to print?

Joanna: I didn’t at all. I had done my research, and I knew that first time authors very rarely have any say in the illustrator of their book, unless they have arranged it themselves first and submitted the finished book to the publisher. I was quite nervous seeing The Little Raindrop pictures for the first time, but Dubravka has done such an amazing job and Little Raindrop is everything I hoped he would be.

Working with Top That! around the promotion of the Little Raindrop has been a fantastic experience. They are really helpful and have offered me great support for my various ideas.

ReadItDaddy: Tell us a little bit about your influences - what children's books, authors and illustrators do you admire?

Joanna: I am a huge Julia Donaldson fan. I think my favourite of her books is “Tiddler, The Story Telling Fish”, although “Night Monkey Day Monkey” is also really good. I always enjoy reading the Little Wombat books by Angela McAllister, and my children love Giles Andreae’s “Morris the Mankiest Monster”. I admire him very much, but that particular book makes me feel quite ill, it is that well written and illustrated!

When it comes to illustrations I have quite a traditional taste. One of my favourite pictures from a book is drawn by Caroline Pedler in “Bedtime for Little Bears!”. I love the soft pastel drawings, so Top That!’s choice of Dubravka as The Little Raindrop’s illustrator fit in extremely well with my ideas of how I wanted the book to look.

Charlotte: Who is your favourite Princess? (Mine's Snow White but I like Mulan too!)

Joanna: That’s a tough question. I think I will have to say Belle, but Rapunzel is a close second.

Charlotte: Do you have any pets? I love Rabbits and Guinea Pigs but mummy and daddy won't let me have one (yet!)

Joanna: We have a dog called Buster. He is a mongrel, and he is 10 years old. He’s a very special part of our family, and we love to take him on long walks in the woods. He isn’t very good at hide and seek though, he usually stands next to me when I’m hiding and barks at me to tell me to throw his ball for him!

Our thanks to Joanna Gray and Top That! Publishing for the interview opportunity! "The Little Raindrop" is out today.  Look out for our full review (just above this post!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are joanna's parents and very proud of her and her success. Lets hope its the start of new beginnings for her. X