Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Maisie Hitchins Blog Tour - Day 2 - Questions and Answers with Maisie's awesome "Mum", Holly Webb

Holly Webb, author of the new "Maisie Hitchins" series for Little Tiger Press

Welcome to the magical Maisie Hitchins Blog Tour! We were very fortunate to be asked to join in with a celebration of Holly Webb's awesome new girl detective series, and so we racked our brains to think of some tricky questions for Holly. Here goes!

ReadItDaddy (Daddy): Hi Holly and thanks for spending some time answering our tricky blogger questions. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.

Holly Webb: I’ve been writing books for the last ten years. I used to be an editor at a children’s publisher, working with some amazing authors, but I came up with a book idea I loved, and swapped sides! Since then I’ve written (scarily) more than eighty books.

ReadItDaddy (Daddy): Maisie Hitchins is a brilliant creation and Charlotte is already a huge fan. What made you want to write a girl detective series set in Victorian times (which is, by the way, a completely genius idea!)

Holly Webb: I’m so glad Charlotte likes Maisie! I love her as a character, she’s huge fun to write. Maisie came out of my love for Sherlock Holmes – I discovered the stories aged about 10 and was obsessed with them for ages. But I wanted a strong girl character, and I loved the idea that Maisie would solve crimes partly because no one would think she was a detective, as she was a very unimportant child…

ReadItDaddy (Daddy): You’re so prolific, and it looks like you have lots of plans for more Maisie Hitchins adventures, do you have any super-secret methods you can share with us for writing success and keeping up the impetus?

Holly Webb: Er, no… I wish I did… Lots of coffee? I suppose my only secret method is that I really enjoy writing (most of the time). And because I do write lots of different books, often at the same time, if I get stuck on one, I can often do something else. By the time I come back to the first book I’ve usually unstuck myself, if you see what I mean.

ReadItDaddy (Daddy): We’ve been huge fans of your wonderful festive books, any plans for Christmas 2014 or are you sworn to secrecy?

Holly Webb: Ah ha! No one has actually sworn me to anything, so I think I’m allowed to say that there is a wolf book! It’s been brilliant for me to write, as it’s set in backwoods America, and it meant I absolutely had to reread all of the “Little House” books. For research purposes only, of course.

ReadItDaddy (Daddy): Maisie is the sort of character we’d imagine would work superbly as a children’s picture book (we love Marion Lindsay’s covers and inside illustrations for the series). Any thoughts on that idea?

Holly Webb: Oooh, well, not till you suggested it. I love Marion Lindsay’s illustrations. When I was working on the first Maisie book, she did an amazing set of sample ideas, which I have up on my wall, they helped so much!

Maisie Hitchins and her trusty doggie sidekick Eddie! On the case!

From Charlotte:

ReadItDaddy (Charlotte): Can Eddie have his own adventure please? (I think she’d rather love to see Eddie get his own doggie detective book for younger readers)

Holly Webb: What a brilliant idea! (I am getting an awful lot of good ideas out of this interview. Hmmm.) I loved writing the part of The Stolen Sixpence where Eddie sees his old owner and his mother. It was one of those moments when I almost made myself cry (very silly).

ReadItDaddy (Charlotte): Who is your favourite (Disney or fairytale) princess?

Holly Webb: Cinderella. The film was re-released in cinemas when I was (I think) about 8, and I saw it three times. I can sing the mice’s dressmaking song! But I’ve recently seen Tangled and Frozen with my own children, and I really like the way that in the newer Disney films the princesses are in charge of their own stories. They don’t just sit around waiting to be rescued!

ReadItDaddy (Charlotte): How would I become an author? What should I concentrate on in school?

Holly Webb: I never planned to be an author at all. I just wanted to be a librarian, because I loved to read, and then I became an editor because it meant working with books. But that was fab training for being an author, because it meant that I read loads, and I thought carefully about what I read. So I would say read, read and read! And then try and work out why you liked a book, or why you got a bit bored halfway through. (Some spelling might be useful too, but actually, authors have lovely editors to help with all of that!)

Huge thanks to Holly for spending some time with us (and we can't wait to see what happens next with Maisie!)

Don't miss our review of Maisie Hitchins' first case - "The Case of the Stolen Sixpence".

As an extra treat from Stripes / Holly and Marion, here are some fantastic Maisie Hitchins Colouring Sheets for you to print out and colour

Sheet 1

Sheet 2

Do not miss Maisie Hitchins by Holly Webb and Marion Linsday, in her fantastic book series available from Little Tiger Press

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