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FRANCESCA SIMON


You were in Edinburgh for the last Book Festival, what was the best bit about your visit?


© TONY ROSS “


“This was my 14th visit to Edinburgh. It was a wonderful Book Festival and I particularly enjoyed seeing Margaret Atwood and Neil Gaimon. I also love the comedian Rich Hall and I went to see his Hoedown and it was absolutely wonderful. I took Josh to see him a long time ago and it never occurred to me that a comedian would attack a kid from the stage but he did. He directed much of the show to Josh urging him to “stay out of prison!”


Of course, I did worry I was a just a crazy mother in the baby bubble


Are you happy with the interpretations of Horrid Henry as a film and stage show? “I read the script for the film and frankly I thought it had no bearing on Horrid Henry. So I never even saw it. However, I really enjoyed the stage show. It was adapted by John Godber, one of Britain’s top playwrights and he knows what works and I think he really managed to capture the spirit of the books.”





Your recent book Do you speak English, Moon? is very different from your previous ones both in style and illustrations, was that a conscious effort to do something different?


“It evolved naturally and it all came from Joshua standing up on his bed one day looking at the moon and saying: “Do you speak English, Moon?” Because of the nature of that question it was always going to be a different kind of story. Someone feeling scared and wanting to be comforted by the moon and children always see the moon as a friend. My writing is usually funny but this is a quieter one.”


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How did you find the Scottish fans? “I sometimes struggle with the names and the accents but they’re great. I actually got one of the titles for my books here! I was talking to an Edinburgh crowd and they kept asking me if I liked horror films, which I don’t, and they all kept asking the same question. I said: “Look this is the last time I’ll answer this, I don’t like horror films – what do you want? Horrid Henry and the Mummy’s Curse? Then I thought that’s quite a good title….


Did you get to see any of Edinburgh when you were here and if so what was your favourite part?


“Just the whole buzz of the city during the festival. Every building, shop and school has been turned into a theatre – I love that the whole of the city becomes a theatre venue and I always feel very inspired when I visit.”


What’s next?


“Lots more Horrid Henry for 2014 and I’m also writing a follow-on book to The Lost Gods.” n


Find out more To keep up to date with Francesca’s work visit: www.francescasimon.com


www.mademagazine.co.uk


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