Veronica is the author and illustrator of the well-loved and highly successful Landy and Friends books. There are eight books in the series so far. In this interview, discusses the inspiration behind the loveable character and why reading is so important.
What do you love most about writing stories for children?
I love the whole experience! From living with the evolving story in my imagination for months before starting to write and seeing my subject through the eyes of a child, to finding people who can help me with aspects of the story and then sitting down and creating the storyboard. Illustrating my books is a huge part of my storytelling – maybe that is what I love most. I get totally immersed in my work and always think of details children would like to see. As a children’s author/illustrator, you have the chance to create something special that can influence part of a child’s formative years.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I wanted to write practical, everyday-life stories for children, as real life is fascinating for young children. Looking around in rural Cornwall, where I live, I found that old Land Rovers, are always hard at work. I then asked two friends if I could write about their Land Rovers – so both Landy and Fender actually exist!
How did you get the first Landy book published?
I was rejected by the first publisher that I sent my first book to, so I decided to self-publish, working closely with a local printing firm. I’m so glad that I decided to do this, as it gives me tremendous freedom to write about whatever I want to and publish whenever I feel I’m ready to.
Why do you think it is important for children to develop a love of books?
Reading is a way child can experience different situations, and experience different feelings that nourish their creative imagination, like nothing else can. The quiet time actually sitting absorbed in a book, deep in imagination, is so good for the growing child and gives them not only a firm basis for academic learning in later life, but a well of nostalgia for the rest of their lives.
What’s next for Landy and Friends?
My fans in America are very keen for me to create an American Landy book. It will need quite a lot of planning so I’m just starting to think about whether or not to take on this project.
And finally, what was your favourite book growing up?
My most favourite book was ‘The Little White Horse’ by Elizabeth Goudge. To be honest, I still read it! There were other favourites as well like ‘Eloise’, ‘Milly Molly Mandy’, ‘Anatole’ and so on…
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