Ayisha Malik and Erica Meza have created a beautiful book about seven unique sisters! We asked Ayisha a few questions about this tale of sisters and their talents and skills.
Where did the inspiration for Seven Sisters come from?
I was actually approached by the publisher who wanted to tell the story of seven very different, but brilliant sisters.
The illustrations are simply wonderful – what did you think when you first saw them?
I adored them and was blown away by the way they brought the story to life. They are so beautiful and I just love looking at the illustrations. Possibly more than I like reading the words.
In your dedication you name the girls – who are these girls and how did they inspire the story?
I wanted to take the publisher’s ideas and give personal meaning to them so I named each character after my niece, god-children and loved one’s daughters. Imagining the girls while writing the story just made the process that bit more special for me.
Each sister is talented in a different way – what is your strongest talent?
I’m yet to find out! I suppose, as a writer, it would be writing. But talent is honed and I don’t think you get to make the most of it without working hard at it.
What do you hope readers will take away from reading Seven Sisters?
I hope it leaves them feeling hopeful and warm. That any child that reads it can find something of themselves in one, if not more, of the characters. That they understand there should be a place and home for everyone, no matter how different they might be.
What were the highlights and challenges of writing Seven Sisters?
It was actually a joy to write. Very different to writing adult fiction, which is what I’ve been used to. But it taught me many things about writing; how to use words sparsely but effectively; the rhythm and beat of a story, which was really highlighted to me through writing this particular book; how to develop character with as few words as possible. And the biggest highlight of course was to be able to name each character after a child I know.
Are you working on anything else that you can share with us?
I’m currently working on an adult fiction title, but do hope I get the opportunity to write another children’s book. There’s a magic in it that I don’t think can be replicated in adult fiction.
Seven Sisters is published by Little Tiger and is available from book retailers.