The Interview: Bookbag Talks To B C R Fegan about Henry and the Hidden Treasure
|The Interview: Bookbag Talks To B C R Fegan about Henry and the Hidden Treasure|
|Summary: Sue giggled like a child when she read Henry and the Hidden Treasure by B C R Fegan and Lenny Wen: it's a good story with some valuable lessons. It was a real pleasure to chat to writer B C R Fegan when he popped into Bookbag Towers.|
|Date: 21 August 2017|
|Interviewer: Sue Magee|
Sue giggled like a child when she read Henry and the Hidden Treasure by B C R Fegan and Lenny Wen: it's a good story with some valuable lessons. It was a real pleasure to chat to writer B C R Fegan when he popped into Bookbag Towers.
- Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?
B C R Fegan: For Henry and the Hidden Treasure, I see children very much like the characters of the story. Children with big imaginations who love to play!
- BB: What inspired you to write Henry and the Hidden Treasure? Do you have a little sister and is she a secret ninja spy?
BCRF: I really love to write stories that centre on imagination and adventure. For a child, what could be more exciting than hidden treasure? From there, the story actually flowed quite organically.
I do have a younger sister. Henry and the Hidden Treasure is actually dedicated to her! Is she a secret ninja spy? I do have my suspicions.
- BB: You have a real talent for delivering lessons about important life skills wrapped in a story which has kids grinning from ear to ear. How did you learn this skill?
BCRF: That's a difficult question to answer – I'm not sure. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed reading. I think the best books – children's or otherwise – have strong stories with subtle lessons. Perhaps it was my preference for this style of narrative that translated to my writing.
- BB: Will we meet Henry and Lucy again? (And does Henry have any more money for ice creams, please?)
BCRF: I've had a number of people ask me whether this book will initiate a series. It's an amazing compliment and I'm really pleased that the characters and narrative have resonated so well. I can confirm that a few more adventures have already been written, but no time frame yet for their release. We'll see about the ice creams.
- BB: You've moved away from the rhyming couplets which we loved in The Grumpface. Which do you prefer: straight prose or the rhyming couplets? What made you make the change?
BCRF: To be honest, I enjoy writing both. I think there is a time for rhyme, and a time for prose. Often the style and type of story will dictate the form. I have a line-up of children's books that will be available over the next twelve months – some will rhyme, but many won't.
- BB: I'm impressed by the way that the illustrations perfectly complement the text of Henry and the Hidden Treasure. How difficult was it to develop the artistic relationship with the illustrator, Lenny Wen, to create such an impressive result?
BCRF: Wen is great. She is an extremely talented artist who understands children's books really well. Developing a good relationship with Wen wasn't hard at all. We have frequently mentioned how well we work together, and I really think that's true. She is able to grasp the brief incredibly well and create something world-class.
- BB: We know that you've been writing books for young adults. Would you consider writing for pre-teens as well as preschoolers?
BCRF: Absolutely! Each age group has its own unique challenges but children – no matter what the age – are fantastic critics. They are brutally honest, yet this is what makes their enjoyment of a book so much more satisfying. I look forward to taking on these additional challenges in the future. Watch this space!
- BB: What's the best children's book you've read recently?
BCRF: I recently read The Dark by the always entertaining, Lemony Snicket. It's a very simple book that stays singularly focused on a fear many children have. What I love about it is that both the narrative and the illustrations – by the talented Jon Klassen – give that fear a perfect ambience. You feel the presence of that darkness in each sentence and every picture just reinforces the perception that the dark is mysterious, isolating and a little bit dangerous. I think Snicket has created a suspenseful page turner that artfully and effectively addresses the fear of darkness. I really enjoyed it.
- BB: You've got one wish. What's it to be?
BCRF: Another difficult question! Just one huh?
- BB: Yep, they're much in demand.
BCRF: I guess the wisdom to solve many of the world's problems! Is that cheating?
- BB: We'll let you get away with it just this once. What's next for B C R Fegan?
BCRF: Another children's book will be coming out shortly before Christmas. In the meantime, I will be spending my writing time on that young adult series.
- BB: Thanks, for taking the time to chat to us: it's been fun!
You can read more about B C R Fegan here.
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