“My box is so big and has such a giant bow that Rosie will think something really wonderful is inside…like a magical bird…or a juggling rabbit…or a hundred dancing mice…I have the best box, but when Rosie opens it, will she think I’m the best present?”
Today I welcome Myfanwy Millward to my blog to talk about the children's book she wrote with her illustrator sister Gwen.
"Rosie's Special Present" was published in 2015 by Penguin and is suitable for 3-5 year olds.
Thank you so much Myfanwy for coming on my blog today! My 5 old son, 7 year old daughter and myself have read your lovely story many times! The questions that i"m going to put to you today come from my daughter!
Where do you get your ideas from?
My ideas come from all kinds of places. An animal, a feeling, something in a museum, someone I know, but I suppose the strongest ideas come from deep inside and start with a strong emotion about something.
What comes first- words or pictures?
I see pictures first though I’m not an illustrator. I imagine scenes and then the characters and words emerge from those images.
Are you writing lots of stories about Rosie and Max? Can you tell us anything about the sort of adventures they might have together?
I’ve written one more story about Rosie and Max. It’s Halloween and grandma comes to visit with her big, black and not very friendly cat. Max has a bit of a tough time!
Why did you choose a cat to be Rosie's special present rather than any other animal?
When I first wrote Rosie’s Special Present, I actually chose a penguin to be the present not a cat! It was a Christmas story but then it became a birthday story and a kitten made more sense as a present.
Do you have a pet cat? What is it called?
I don’t have a cat but we always had pet cats when I was growing up. The first was called Mewm.
Do you base the characters on yourself or anyone you know?
I think Max definitely has some of my character traits. He worries about all kinds of things in the story. Will I be good enough? Is my box the best? And I’m a bit of a worrier myself. I think a lot of us worry about things when we don’t need to.
What was your favourite book when you were 7 years old?
I absolutely loved The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I loved it so much I climbed into my grandma’s big old wardrobe one day to see if I could get to Narnia. I didn’t find Narnia but I tried a few different wardrobes after that…just in case. George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl was another of my favourite stories.
Who is your favourite children's author? And illustrator?
It’s difficult to choose a favourite but for children’s authors I think it could be Roald Dahl along with Quentin Blake’s fantastic illustrations. My sister, Gwen is one of my favourite illustrators too (and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister!).
What is it like working with your sister?
It’s been great to work with Gwen. She’s such an experienced illustrator so she really helped me understand how Rosie’s Special Present would work in a picture book. We live really close to each other too which helps when it comes to meeting and discussing ideas.
Thank you so much Myfanwy for answering our questions today! We wish you lots of success with "Rosie's Special Present" and we will look out for any of your future books!
More about Myfanwy:
I'm a freelance writer based in Bristol.
For more recommendations and reviews you can follow me on Twitter @katherinesunde3 (bibliomaniacuk)