You’re new book ‘Sir Scallywag and the Deadly Dragon Poo’ is out on the 5th June 2014. What was your inspiration to start writing the Scallywag series?
I wanted to write something that appealed to boys - mixing heroism with humour. I am one of 4 boys, and I have 3 boys myself so I sort of know what we like – we’re a basic lot! Give us a sword, tell us we’re heroes… and throw in some toilet humour. What’s not to like?!
Is the character Sir Scallywag based on anyone you know?
If anything, it’s based on my 6 year old ideal of myself. In actual fact, I was rather timid and not into fighting and heroics at all – but I guess I’d like to have been. Hence – Scallywag!
You are well known asthe creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain’s favourite stickman. Have you always been interested in writing and drawing?
I’ve always been into nonsense poetry. As a child, I loved Spike Milligan, Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll. I was a great comic reader too. My generation had loads of them – The Beano, Whizzer & Chips, Whoppee… it was a golden age.
What would be your top tip to a young author for either writing or illustrating?
Write what you want to read and draw what you want to see. A lot of people start out writing for “a market”, but if you are doing this solely to try to appeal to a certain readership in the hope’s of being commercial, your work risks not feeling authentic. Always be authentic. It’s the most important thing in any creative discipline.
You have four young children, do any of them aspire to be an author just like you?
They all enjoy writing, but that’s one of the great assets of childhood: all children are creative. It’s only when we get older that fear of rejection creeps in and we retreat from our natural creative impulses.
Are you reading any books at the moment? If so what?
I’m actually a very bad reader, but I always return to books that are short, simple and meaningful. Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales are faultless.
As a young boy who inspired you to draw and write?
I’ve mentioned the poets that I enjoyed reading as a child, but I was also lucky enough to have the most inspiring English teacher as I was growing up. He is almost solely responsible for my career. A good teacher who can unlock creativity is an extraordinary gift to be given.
When you werestudying at Eton College you were best friends with our current Prime Minster, David Cameron. Do you still speak to him? And do you know if he has read any of your books?
Yes – and yes.
Out of your amazing career what stands out as the top moment for you and why?
I write and draw books and cards under a different name as well: Edward Monkton. One of Edward Monkton’s books, A Lovely Love Story, is used quite frequently as a wedding reading. I couldn’t find anything in my career that is more of a privilege than that.
What are your plans for the future in your career?
I’m working on a little art project at the moment. It’s very weird and I’m not quite sure yet where it’s going… but it’s fun! I think that’s one of the most enjoyable and exciting things about creativity… not quite knowing where you’re going to end up.
Sir Scallywag and the Deadly Dragon Poo by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Korky Paul, out 5th June 2014 in paperback £6.99.
To find out more about this book please visit www.Puffin.co.uk