26 December: Will Mabbitt

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 Our Christmas Author Calendar continues with Will Mabbitt!

Will Mabbitt is the author of The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones and was recently shortlisted for The Branford Boase Book Award.  Will lives with his family in the south of England. He writes; in cafes, on trains, on the toilet, and sometimes in his head when his laptop runs out of power.

Name three things on your Christmas list this year! Socks, pants and a Swiss Army Knife (Desperately need the edition with toenail clippers).

Christmas is a time of family traditions – what are your best (or worst!) family traditions? BEST TRADITION: The family getting together in the season of goodwill. WORST TRADITION: The full body search of Great Aunt Lilly has become a necessary precaution to ensure she doesn’t bring any weapons into the house.

(Sounds dangerous!)

There are wonderful stories shared at Christmas time. What is your favourit705257-_uy369_ss369_e story to read at Christmas? Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs is great.

If you could have Christmas dinner with anyone (alive today or person from history) who would it be and why? Charles Darwin. He wrote a book about earthworms. I have a picture book about worms coming out next year called I Can Only Draw Worms. I like to think he would appreciate the chance to read it and acknowledge that it is of equal merit.

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Your brilliant books feature some fairly gruesome pirates! What do you think happens at a pirate Christmas celebration? Spit roasted parrot, and an unfortunate incident where the Captain accidentally eviscerates himself with his hook during a particularly difficult game of charades.

What New Year’s Resolutions do you think Mabel Jones would make? She has one very bad habit. So it would be STOP EATING BOGIES.

(Very wise choice…. I wonder, will she keep it?!)

winter-1027822_1920Reader’s question from Adam aged 10, Great Walstead School; why did you choose to have animal pirates instead of human pirates in the Mabel Jones stories? It’s a tricky question. I didn’t really think about why I did it. I just like writing about talking animals. Having said that though I can do worse things to talking animal characters than I would be allowed to do to human characters. For some reason, it’s fine to kill a talking animal pirate in a sea battle. My editor probably wouldn’t allow me to write a scene where this happened to a child. I’m not sure why this is. Technically, talking animals are much rarer than children! Another lucky thing is that readers can assume a personality for a certain animal. For example an owl is considered to be wise and a bit haughty. You can use this as a short cut to making a character, or you can turn it into a joke by making an owl stupid. 

Turkey or goose? I don’t eat any animal with a cloaca.

Real or fake tree? Real tree. It should be bald on one side and already shedding needles on the day of purchase. It should also topple over in the night and wake up the baby.

Mince pies or Christmas pudding? Christmas Pudding if I’m allowed Brandy Butter, Cream AND custard.

Stockings – end of the bed or over the fireplace? END OF THE BED. Especially if you wear nylon stocking which are highly flammable.

Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve? Christmas Eve is cosier. I like cosy.

Thanks for joining in the festive fun! Happy Christmas!

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Find out more about Will at www.mabeljonesbooks.com and follow him on Twitter @gomabbitt.

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