Quarto Kids | 28 January 2021Meet the Author: Corrinne Averiss Share article facebook twitter google pinterest Corrinne Averiss, author of LOVE, answers some questions about her work and what inspired her to create a whole series around joy, hope, and love. Can you speak to this being the third book in a series of companion books (Joy, Hope, and now Love)? Did you always envision this as a series? After joy and hope, why did you want to explore love? Well, the first in the three titles – Joy – was issued almost as a challenge from the words & picture editor at the time – Matt Morgan. He liked my previous child-centred books and had a vision for a picture book, simply entitled ‘Joy’! Would I like to write this…? I loved the simple brief, it really lit a creative fuse and I found it so exciting to think around the concept; to zero in on joy’s DNA and then to consider how this would find its way into one child’s life and one small story. I think during early discussions, we touched on definitions of other feelings like hope and love, almost by way of clarifying what made joy different and quickly realised they would be perfect companions. My wonderful editor Harriet Stone had an affinity with that ambition and so we sought to create a trilogy and capture three BIG feelings in three SMALL stories, with the second story being Hope. It has indeed been a hopeful, loving and joyful task to write these stories and see them come to life under the beautiful illustrative powers of Isabelle Follath, Sebastien Pelon and Kirsti Beautyman. Their ability to capture feelings in their work – whether character expression or poignant metaphor – is just incredible! I feel very fortunate. What do you hope children will take away from your book? Why do you think a title like this is necessary for young children? I hope Love will bring their attention, for just a little while, to something that is ever-present but not always seen: the love of their family and friends. That between the pages of this book, a little island in a busy day – they are able to feel how special that is, to feel buoyed by it and less lonely. And I hope that the metaphor of the string stays with them, so they feel connected and supported no matter how far away their loved ones are. I didn’t know at the time of writing that when this book published we would all be required to depend on those invisible strings. I really hope it’s a comfort and that both parent and child reading this book feel they’re safely wrapped in that loving bundle Kirsti illustrated so beautifully on the final page. What challenges did you encounter while writing this book? What surprised you most? Good question. The hardest part was all the rigorous thinking around the string metaphor and Tess’s understanding of it. To ensure it was authentic to a child’s point of view and consistent. Especially around that moment when Tess decides to ‘untie’ it because she’s lost faith in its existence. Of course there is nothing to really untie, but she has bought into that idea and with mum nowhere to be seen, she is dealing with a feeling of rejection and abandonment. So in that moment she rejects the comfort her mum had given her; it feels like something she can’t depend on. Perhaps we have all been our own worst enemy like this at times, to imagine that we’re not loved and to act defensively before our worst fears are realised. But of course when the real reason for mum’s late arrival is established, Tess is reminded that she can trust that love is there, regardless of circumstances. What advice would you give to aspiring authors? For picture book authors, I would say never underestimate how worthwhile that conceptual thinking time is before you start on the journey of plotting your story. This phase is just as important to your work as the construction of the actual story. Think about the question you want this book to answer, about life as human being. What comes up? Scribble copious notes, ask more questions. Open it right up before you choose your direction and start to drill down and make it personal to your main character and the fictional world you’re going to build around them. What are you working on now? I’m currently home schooling and getting very little time to myself for daydreaming or writing. I’m working on… not despairing at this situation we find ourselves in; working on… being grateful for what we have! I do have a few ideas squirrelled away and I’m hopeful that in a few months I may get to look at them and start to build. I have my first colour fiction title coming out in March called The Long Way Home, illustrated by Kristyna Litten, the paperback Sorrel and the Sleepover with Susan Varley is out in April and possibly later this year A Song in the Mist will be my second collaboration with Fiona Woodcock (A Dot in the Snow). I’m also excited about being the Carmelite Prize author this year and judging the submissions. There will be a vague impression of productivity but the truth will be domestic inertia! About the author: Corrinne Averiss is the author of My Pet Star, winner of the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book of the Year, the Stockport Children’s Book Awards and in over 450,000 homes as part of Booktrust’s Pyjamarama campaign. Her first book, A Dot in the Snow, illustrated by Fiona Woodcock, was shortlisted for the CILIP Greenaway award, featured on CBeebies’ Bedtime Stories and in The Sunday Times’ Books of the Year. She is the author of Love, Joy, Hope, Sorrel and the Sleepover, The Boy on the Bench and Floss the Playground Boss, with a further three titles publishing next year. She is drawn to themes of identity and belonging in her books and aims to deliver big feelings with humour and tenderness. Corrinne grew up in Warwickshire, studied English Literature in St Andrews and settled somewhere between the two, in a little town between Manchester and the Peak District with her husband, daughter and tabby cat. LOVE $18.95 Buy in US / Canada Buy in UK / Europe Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.