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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Author Interview : Caleb Krisp, author of 'Anyone but Ivy Pocket'

Caleb Krisp

Read up, ‘Anyone but Ivy Pocket’ author, Caleb Krisp’s Interview. From the time, I read the book, I usually expect to laugh… but in this interview, he has a different take. 

He is a lot like Ivy Pocket, he says. Presenting, the slightly serious Caleb Krisp in this one, Folks…

Read up The Review of here and  Buy 'Anyone but Ivy Pocket' Here, as well.
How did ‘Anyone but Ivy Pocket’ happen? Could you describe the journey?

I was at a crossroads of sorts - and really decided that the time had come to write the children's book, I had always wanted to write. In the earlier part of my career, I was often taming my comic instincts and reining in my characters to make them more appealing or reader-friendly. 

When I began writing Ivy Pocket, I granted myself complete creative freedom and allowed my protagonist to do and say exactly what she wished. It was the most joyous writing experience, I've ever had.

How did the story, especially Ivy’s come about? Did you have a lot of personal experiences to go with it?

I wanted to write about a girl who was unlike many of the heroines, I read about in children's fiction. A girl who was plucky and optimistic, yes, but also incorrigible, delusional, loose with the truth, infuriating and utterly mad. I suspect she and I have a lot in common!

Ivy Pocket turned up fully formed as I started to write the book - I heard her voice in my head and I hurried to write it all down before she went away.

How did you come up with the core idea and develop it?

The initial inspiration for ‘Anyone but Ivy Pocket’ was a little book written in 1890 called 'The Danvers Jewels' by Mary Cholmondeley. I set out to write a fairly faithful children's adaption of this delightful little jewel caper, but then Ivy popped into my head - and suddenly the story took on a life all of its own. Which is just how it should be.

What according to you is different about your book?

Ivy Pocket is an unreliable narrator, so she cannot always be trusted. But even if what she tells the reader isn't strictly true, it's certainly entertaining. Ivy is deluded, self-important, frequently ill-mannered, has the intuitive sense of a chicken curry, and is utterly penniless.

In short, she is exactly like every other twelve year old on the planet. I thought that would make her a different and refreshing kind of heroine.

How would you relate the lives of characters to the lives today? Any similarities?

Ivy comes from a time when a person’s social status and wealth were hugely important - and that is still largely true, today.

Ivy doesn't care who people are or how much money they have, she treats everyone like an equal and that makes her very modern indeed.
What was the most challenging part about writing the book?
The fact that I am writing a trilogy was the biggest challenge - I had to make the book as self-contained as possible, but also leave the reader wanting more.

Telling one large story across three books, and making each one satisfying in and of itself, was a huge challenge.

What book is coming from your desk, next? When do you see it released?

I have just finished the second Ivy Pocket book - 'Somebody Stop Ivy Pocket'. It should be out some time, next year.

Which book are you currently reading?

I'm currently reading 'Burial Rites' by Hannah Kent. It's very, very good!

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Most of my favourite authors are dead. I'm heavily influence by 19th century literature - everything from Jane Austen to sensation fiction. My favourites
Jane Austen
include Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu.

You will find elements of all of these writers in my stories. I love their books because they combine vivid characterisations with brilliant plotting. A winning combination.

What else do you do on a daily basis?

I try and carve a statue of Oprah Winfrey from a block of frozen goose fat at least once a day. A brisk walk in the park and eight cups of tea are other daily habits.
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