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The Zone interview with Vivian French

August 01, 2009

This edition I was lucky enough to meet the amazing Vivian French! She’s the author of tonnes of great books like, the Tales of Five Kingdoms series. She even wrote all the Tiara Club adventures.

http://www.devon.gov.uk/index/cultureheritage/libraries/library_services/children/thezone/max-books/max-meettheauthor/max_previous_authors/vivian_french.htm

You’ve written so many cool stories. Have you always written books?

No. I was a very late developer - I was an actor and a storyteller for ages before I started writing stories.

Who’s your favourite character you’ve ever invented?

Easy! I love Gubble from The Robe of Skulls. And he also pops up in The Bag of Bones, and The Heart of Glass - I don’t think I could manage the plots without him, even though he’s slightly unreliable because his head sometimes falls off

If you weren’t a writer, what other job do you think you’d enjoy the most?

Mmmmm .... maybe telling stories? Or maybe a long distance lorry driver. I always wanted to do that when I was young.

Loads of my canine and human friends are trying to write books and stories of their own. Any good tips?

I’d suggest thinking of a feeling, then deciding who has the feeling and why. Then what feeling do you want them to have at the end of the story? And after that you work out the middle bit ... how the feeling comes to be changed. So you do Beginning, End, Middle. Works for me ...

What’s the latest book you’ve written?

The Heart of Glass (One of the Tales from the Five Kingdoms)

What’s your favourite bit in it?

‘When Princess Marigold and Prince Vincent are having a picnic in a coach, and fall down a deep crevasse. They’re caught by a very large (and not at all clever) troll called Clod ...

Have you ever visited sunny Devon? That’s where my library is, and where I live!

Oh YES! I’ve been to the Appledore festival twice, and I used to have lots of holidays in Devon when was a child ... and I’ve done a couple of book tours there as well. It’s very beautiful - you’re lucky to live there. (Although Edinburgh, where I live, is pretty cool too ... )

Thanks so much for answering my questions. Just one thing I have to ask: Do you like dogs?!!

I most certainly do. Sadly I live in a top floor flat (66 steps up and 66 steps down) otherwise I’d have a dog. We always had dogs when I was growing up; my best was a rather grumpy Scotty dog called Janey. (She was grumpy with everyone else, especially my dad - but she loved me, and we had a lot of fun.)