Q&A with Caroline Crowe

Caroline Crowe is the author of The Fairy Dogmother, a charming tale of Cinderella for pooches! We had a few questions to ask Caroline and she was lovely enough to take the time to answer them!

You have taken the classic Cinderella story and given it a brilliant twist. How much fun was it to add dogs to the tale?

Thank you! It was so much fun imagining what a dog might wish for if they had a fairy dogmother. Hopefully readers will have a bit of a giggle at the slightly wackier suggestions. Richard Merritt’s illustrations are so brilliant, he’s really added another layer to the humour.

The illustrations are bright and colourful- what were your thoughts on seeing your story brought to life?

I am always totally in awe of the illustrators I work with on my books and Richard is no exception. I absolutely LOVE his interpretation of the text and his illustration style. It’s a real feast for the eyes and there are so many lovely details to spot.

Have you had this story in mind for some time or is it a new idea that just took off?

I first had the idea for a story about a fairy dogmother several years ago and mentioned it to my editor at Little Tiger. At the time it was a very different text and didn’t work for them, but she loved the idea and asked me to re work it. It went through a few drafts before it became the story it is now. The Fairy Dogmother is a great example of how sometimes as a writer you have to have faith in an idea and persevere despite some knock backs and also how a finished book is a collaboration between lots of different people; my agent, Clare Wallace, and my editor at Little Tiger, Ellie Farmer, both helped shape the text into the story it is now.

Was there anything that didn’t make it into this story?

At one point Ruff and Tuff, who wish for sausages, were written in the text as Cinders’ brothers to mirror the step sisters in Cinderella, but in picture books you only have a very limited word count to work with and that detail ended up being cut.

Do you have other ideas for twisting classic tales into new stories?

I think there is an amazing collection of picture books on the shelves at the moment that have taken classic fairy tales and re-interpreted them. There’s a lot of stiff competition out there! At the moment I don’t have any ideas along those lines, but I’ve learned to never say never.

What do you hope readers will take from your story- other than the desire for a dog of their own?

I think the message I was trying to weave through it is that often we get the most happiness by gifting happiness to others and that a true friend is someone who tries to think along those lines.

The Fairy Dogmother is published by Little Tiger and is available from TODAY!!

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