INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF "THE GOBLIN GIRL AND THE GIRL" NEIL IRANI (MAVERICK CHILDREN'S PUBLISHING)
Hello Neil and thank you for the opportunity to interview you. What was the inspiration behind "The Goblin and the Girl" and have you always enjoyed writing children's stories?
I’ve been writing children’s stores for about 8 years now. The inspiration for “The Goblin and the Girl” came in part out of frustration at the number of trivial and meaningless stories on sale in the bookshops. After my first daughter was born I became aware that most of my writing was boy-centred, so I started writing more for girls which is where this book came from.
What is next for you in this genre?
The follow up to this book is well in progress. The story is in an advanced draft and I’ve developed the character design. It’s a direct follow up and is called “The Ogre and the Girl”. This time the girl has to deal with an external foe, rather than an internal one.
Do you plan to write in other genres in the near future? Perhaps YA or Adult Fiction?
Yes. I’ve already completed a 44 page YA story which tackles the issue of understanding love. In addition I’ve completed a straight-to-kindle murder mystery based in the City of London.
Tell us more about you and some of your author inspirations.
Mostly the inspiration for a new story comes from a spark which may be something that someone says, or something I’ve seen or from a situation I find myself in with my own children. Once a concept is there I find that quite often the stories write themselves.
When did you first decide to write and how did you find your amazing illustrator?
I’ve been writing poetry and lyrics all my life. Only in the last eight years has that moved to books. I found Park Yun via the internet – searching for illustrators almost at random. I am also working with a number of other illustrators also found online (typically university illustration / animation graduates). I find the most valuable asset for an illustrator is to understand what the writer wants, and to then bring their own creativity to the table.
Tell us about how you found Maverick and your relationship with Giles and working for them.
I had a stand opposite Maverick at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair. I talked a lot with Steve, and a year later back at Bologna I was showing him my new work and he decided to go ahead and publish “The Goblin and the Girl”. Note that the book has also been taken up by a publisher in Spain, who have translated it into Spanish and Catalan.
What are some of your other hobbies or jobs that you have?
I generally don’t have time for hobbies as such, but I am currently very active in developing iPad and iPhone apps for children – both books in collaboration with other publishers, and also games which are fun and which have an educational content. I also paint (I’ve exhibited in London, Paris, NY & Sydney), and love playing the drums.
Tell us about your family and if you allow them to critique your writing.
My wife and children are excellent critics! I always test-drive new stories and ideas on them. My six year old son is very involved in helping me to do some character design and screen-flow for a new story and iPad game aimed at boys aged 6+.
Where would you like to see yourself in ten years with your writing career?
I’d love to be writing, working with illustrators and designers – not only for books but in other areas such as scripts, games and even film. It’s easy to be active in these areas, I’d like to also be successful in these areas also, delivering stories and products which people enjoy.
Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works!
The best advice for anyone who wants to start writing (rather than existing authors) – is to just do it. Write. Write all the time. Blog it. Give it away where you can and keep it for publishing where you don’t want to give it away. Keep a list of story ideas – the ideas are more useful than the actual writing as you can always re-write. A story isn’t really a story until it’s been written, shared, discussed, criticised and enjoyed.