Anna Wilson Interview

Anna Wilson is an author of many children’s books and animals feature hugely in her writing. As well as writing about cats and dogs, Anna has also written books about monkeys and chickens!  To celebrate the publication of her latest book I’m a Chicken, Get Me Out Of Here!, we asked Anna about her love of all things furry.

We noticed that your book titles include Pup Idol and I’m a Chicken, Get Me Out Of Here! Could we ask if you’re a fan of reality TV?! If you are, which is your favourite show?

I have to confess that I am not really a fan of any of the reality shows on at the moment! I did enjoy a show that was on years ago which inspired me to write Pup Idol. It was a show where celebrities were given rescue dogs to train and was hosted by Julian Clary, who I think is very funny. My children and I watched it avidly. I think it was called The Underdog Show. We also loved It’s Me or the Dog which was all about training badly behaved dogs. I included a spoof of that in my book Puppy Love.

What’s happened to the chicken in your latest  book (I’m a Chicken, Get Me Out Of Here!) to get her in such a flap?

Well, for a start she found herself delivered to Wilf’s house by mistake because his mum’s latest internet order had gone wrong . . . (that happens a lot to Wilf’s mum). And then there was the fact that she was made to share a house with a guinea pig with OCD (think Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, but as a guinea pig). And then . . . but I guess you’ll just have to read it to find out more!

 You’ve written so many books about animals, especially cats and dogs. Did you grow up in a house full of animals?

I didn’t! I think that is why I write about animals so much. I was not allowed a pet. I pestered and pestered and eventually got a tortoise. But he died very young (sob!). Eventually we got a cat, but it took a lot of persuading. So, of course now I have LOADS of animals: two cats, a dog and six chickens and, at the time of writing, a baby chick. If my son had anything to do with it, we would have pygmy goats and ducks as well. But you have to draw the line somewhere.

What prompted you to write your first animal-inspired book?

My first animal-inspired book was Puppy Love. I wrote it when we got our dog, Kenna, because she turned our lives upside down! I found myself writing down everything she did. And she was sooooo naughty, she certainly gave me plenty of ideas. It got me thinking about how much I had wanted a pet when I was younger. So Summer Holly Love is really me, and Honey is Kenna.

If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you choose and what would you call it?

If I could have any animal at all I think I would have a lion. And I would have to call it Aslan.

 For you, what is the best thing about being a writer?

The best thing is being paid to spend time making up stories and spending time with imaginary friends. Also I love meeting my readers – and other authors – at festivals and events!

And the worst?!

The worst thing is when I get writer’s block. But I usually write my way out of it in the end.

Can your young readers look forward to meeting you in person at any events over the coming months? Or will you be busy writing?

The Bath Children’s Literature Festival in October will be fun, as this will be my first appearance at that event. I will also be at the Big Read in Newport which is in October as well. Other than that I will mostly be going into schools and libraries to meet children, talk about my animals and read from my books. Oh yes, I suppose I might have to do some writing in between as well . . .

To find about more about Anna’s books, please click here to visit her website.
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