A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
Today I am interviewing Rose Mannering for the release of ‘The Spotty Dotty Daffodil,’ a book that I was lucky enough to illustrate.
1. Hi Rose! How are you feeling about the release of ‘The Spotty Dotty Daffodil’?
Hi Bethany, I’m so excited and very honoured to be releasing something with such a talented illustrator. I always dreamed of writing a picture book, but I never thought that I would get the opportunity so the whole process has been surprising in a really good way!
2. I understand that this story was something you originally created at a very young age. Can you tell me a bit about how it came to be?
I first created Spotty Dotty when I was eight or nine and I did my own illustrations back then 😉 which were awful. I’ve always written and this was a little story I made up while I was on holiday with my family. My mum kept the scribbles because she thought that it was a cute idea, but I never thought that I would revisit it when I was older.
3. What sort of messages does the book give to children and parents?
I think that self-worth is so important and I wanted Spotty Dotty to reflect that. Every child feels different at some point in their life and I wanted Spotty Dotty to celebrate the uniqueness in all of us.
4. Spring gives us a wealth of brightly coloured flowers. Is the daffodil your favourite?
I do love daffodils – they are so bright and cheerful. I can see them popping up everywhere at the moment and it puts a smile on my face. I seem to be a bit flower-obsessed when it comes to books. My other novel, a YA fantasy, is called Roses so perhaps my next move is to diverse into bluebells or daisies.
5. Were any of the characters based on people you know?
The little girl in Spotty Dotty was based on my cousin’s daughter, Lucy. She’s such a gorgeous, happy little girl that I knew she would be perfect for this story.
6. How did creating a children’s book compare to the challenges of writing your classic fairytale retelling, ‘Roses’?
I had to strip down my language a lot. I love description and painting a world, but with a picture book that is created by the illustrator so I had to make sure that I kept my sentences clear and concise. I also loved working as a team with someone else – you were a fantastic teammate, Beth!
7. Do you plan on creating any more children’s books in the future?
I’d love to create more picture books! I’ve completely fallen for the medium. I’d love to work with you again as well, Beth. Your images are wonderful and the watercolour style is beautifully traditional with modern touches.
Thanks so much for chatting Rose! Here’s hoping we work together soon.
BETHANY STRAKER is an illustrator and designer working in Kent and London. She is currently working on 6 picture books for Skyhorse publishing and currently has a book out written by Isabel Atherton, called ‘Zombie Cat: The Tale of a Decomposing Kitty’. Her new books include a book she wrote called ‘The Funny Bunny Fly’, ‘A Curious Robot on Mars!’ written by James Duffett-Smith and ‘Smelly Ghost’ by Isabel Atherton. Previously, Bethany has illustrated for magazines for Disney, CMP Information, Bliss magazine, the National Magazine Company and GoGo’s Crazy Bones. You can see some examples of her work on her website, www.bethanystraker.com
Mannering is an English writer and international author. She signed up with literary agency Creative Authors when she was eighteen and secured her first UK publishing deal when she was nineteen. Her YA fantasy novel Roses is written under the name, G. R. Mannering and her first picture book, THE SPOTTY DOTTY DAFFODIL is out now!