I’m curious about how longstanding children’s authors work. How do they get so many ideas? What do they do if they get stuck? Because I have gone through stagnant periods when I couldn’t find any ideas and felt stuck, I’m interested in how experienced authors resolve these issues and keep going.
I interviewed Pippa Goodhart, the author of over a hundred children’s books, including prize-winning picture book You Choose, and the Winnie the Witch storybooks which she writes under the pen name of Laura Owen.
In this interview, we cover:
0:12- Introducing Pippa
1:32- How Pippa, who was slow at learning to read and write as a child, became a published children’s author
4:54- Pippa explains how jobs in a bookshop and as a publisher’s reader led to what she does now
7:40- Pippa talks about writing stories for various age groups and the different challenges she enjoys
9:21- How Pippa finds ideas for her stories
11:26- Pippa explains how she deliberately writes herself into a corner when she is writing and how she resolves it
14:24- Two useful words Pippa gives to children when they can’t find their ideas for themselves
16:22- What Pippa does and what she enjoys in her school visits
17:54- Questions children tend to ask that teachers are longing to know but are too polite to ask
21:05- What enables Pippa to look at things from children’s point of view
22:41- Pippa talks about characters in her stories
26:36- The reason why Pippa uses the pen name Laura Owen for her Winnie the Witch books
29:25- How Pippa works with illustrators
29:49- Pippa talks about her picture book You Choose illustrated by Nick Sharratt
37:20- Publishers and agents
39:21- Who is Pippa’s favourite character?
39:55- Pippa’s favourite book format to work on
41:34- What Pippa thinks are the most important qualities for authors
43:55- Pippa’s advices for aspiring authors
44:40- Pippa’s online courses
45:40- Pippa’s current project