Saturday, 12 April 2008 11:38
Q. Scaredy Squirrel is a fun and unique character, I'm glad to see he's back for a third book "Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach." Where did the idea for this character come from?
A. It came from many things like my childhood and coming from a sometimes overly protective environment, it also comes from observing our society and how fear seems to be all around us with warnings and signs. I wanted to invent a character that was afraid of everything and that had a special hidden talent that he hadn’t discovered because he never wandered out of his comfort zone. That’s were the idea of a flying squirrel came from.
Q. How long have you been writing and illustrating?
A. For seven years. My first book Leon the chameleon was the very first story I ever wrote. It began as a school project in University and my illustration teacher encouraged me to send it to a publisher.
Q. Your picture books have been about animals. Do you have pets that you draw inspiration from? A. I have a parrot named Kiwi. He doesn’t have a story based on him yet but who knows… I like to use animal characters because animals already have characteristics associated to them. Like squirrels look very nervous and in a hurry. Cats are easy going and like to be center of everything.
Q. "Chester" is one of my favorite picture books. Kids I read it to love the idea of Chester trying to write his own story over yours. Did you plan the book this way from the beginning or did the concept come after you started writing?
A. It started with the idea of crossing out my name on the cover. I thought it would be funny if the character of the book didn’t want to cooperate with my story. As I started writing, I figured Chester would cross out my dedication and on and on until I would finally give in and let him have his way but with a catch!
Q. Are you working on another Scaredy Squirrel book right now or something new?
A. I have just finished a new Chester story and am now working on Scaredys fourth adventure. After that I have an entirely new character coming out.
Click here to visit Melanie Watt's website
Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 December 2008 16:47 )