Any questions? An interview with Sophie Anderson

We contacted the fantastic author Sophie Anderson and were very happy when she agreed to respond to our questions. We love her books 'The House With Chicken Legs' and 'The Girl Who Speaks Bear'.

Enjoy her answers!

Q: When you were young, were you already thinking about being an author? Were you already writing stories when you were in primary/secondary school?

A: I enjoyed writing stories in school, but never considered being an author at that time. I loved science and the outdoors – especially the beach, so I wanted to become a marine biologist! I didn’t start writing stories again, or dream of becoming an author, until I was in my thirties.

Q: What were your favourite books when you were our age (11 year olds)?

A: The Moomins books by Tove Jansson and The Alanna books by Tamora Pierce.

Q: Why did you choose to write books for children? Do you also write for adults?

A: I started writing when I had children of my own, and I wrote my stories for them. I’ve never written for adults - sometimes I think about it, but at the moment I’m very happy working on books for children.

Q: How long does it take you to write a book? How many drafts do you have to do?

A: Around two years, and at least four or five drafts!

Q: When you write a book, do you carefully plan everything that will happen or do you make some things up along the way? When do you decide on a title?

A: I make up lots along the way. Even when I try to plan, my stories rarely stick to them! I always have a working title, but it changes several times and isn’t decided until the very end.

Q: Do you base your characters on people you know or do you make them up completely? 

A: Most are based, at least in part, by people I know.

Q: The books don’t say where the stories are set. Is it in a real or imaginary place? or do you prefer not to tell?

A: Like my characters, most of my settings are based, at least in part, on real places!

Q: Why do you always include some magic or supernatural elements in your stories?

A: Because I truly believe the world is filled with magic.

Q: Why does Baba Yaga always feature in your stories? Are your books based on stories from your childhood?

A: Yes, my grandmother told me lots of stories about Baba Yaga when I was younger, and these tales inspired me hugely!

Q: Are you working on a new book at the moment? Are you planning to write a sequel to any of your books?

A: No sequels are planned at the moment, but I’d never say never. I have just started working on my fourth book, it’s very early days – just a few scribbled ideas, a few character ideas, a rough setting and a few half-finished paragraphs!

Thank you!

We can't wait to read your third book -The Castle of Tangled Magic- when it comes out in September!

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