Writing is relaxing for me…
Most of my tales begin with a sound or sentence.
No matter where I am, I need to be alone for it to happen. It often happens that while I am walking in the street or washing the dishes, I suddenly hear somebody „speaking” inside me, and they usually make me laugh. New characters, new stories then unfold from these „voices”.
The first „voice” of the Tales from the Playroom series was Flutters. She was closely followed by the others. I created all the characters on the basis of existing toys, but they are not always recognisable. The moment they came to life in my mind, they started to become more and more different from the original toys. I do not wish to direct the illustrators and I haven’t done so in case of any of my books. I only suggested Lídia not to picture them prefect in their drawn selves. They are not perfect in their personalities either. A character is always much more genuine and loveable if he or she has faults and defects. I love dangling threads, shorter legs and tears.
Of course I have a picture of the characters in my head, but they only become complete when the illustrator draws them. If I like what has been drawn, it overrides my less-than-clear picture and it all becomes complete. Just like in case of Teddy Bear. Lídia’s drawing made him who he is, really.
I am often asked how a manuscript that I am writing at the time will continue. I wish I knew in advance!
I usually have ideas, a general storyline – sometimes – but I mostly feel like an observer who simply writes down what she sees. As if I sat down in the playroom for example, watched the toys and took notes. And the characters just do their work.
I always have favourite characters. From the „playroom” my favourites are Teddy Bear and Captain. I love Teddy Bear for his simplicity, and Captain has some enviable firmness and steadfastness. One of my favourite stories is the one about the Captain.
Dolly is another important character. Somehow, she unintentionally brings the company together. You have to listen to her. A little fussy, a little nagging, but just this makes her fit in the team, where everyone is a little bit different and sticks out.
Humour is an important element of my stories. I believe tales not only have to develop, educate but first of all entertain. What makes my characters funny – and thus loveable – is that they are not flawless.
Writing is relaxing for me. It charges me up, and makes me feel I am who I want to be. Especially when I hear that children – and adults, this is also important! – enjoy listening to and reading what I have published.
This interactive storybook is somewhat different from what I am used to. My initial doubts soon evaporated though. Several discussions, brainstorming lies behind the finished books, and the result is fantastic. I see that children don’t get bored with them even the hundredth time. The bolder use of materials, the braver solutions make the second book even more special. I think, the best thing that could happen to this volume is to become a book in such an interesting and unique form.