Will Work for Fear: Interview with Author Amanda Noll
I Need My Monster is authored by Amanda Noll and complimented by the unique illustrative style of Howard McWilliam. I Need My Monster puts a spin on scary when Ethan discovers that the devoted monster under his bed has decided to go fishing. Fearing the loss of sleep without his fearful friend, Ethan turns to interviewing a list of monster substitutes. Unfortunately, each monster proves to be inadequate-their fangs are too long, their slobbering too silly. their claws too clumsy.
Amanda Noll captures our dual fascination with creatures by making them both absurd and frightful as emphasized by McWilliam’s topsy turvy fish-eye perspective. Ms. Noll provided her own debacle with monsters in the following interview:
1) Do you remember the first story that you wrote?
No. Like most people I did some writing in high school but I did not begin writing earnestly until my mid twenties.
2) What are your influences?
I love science fiction and fantasy. My personal bookshelf is full of McCaffrey, McKinnley, Croggon, Westerfeld, and Collins. I was raised on Dr. Who and adore the series.
3) What inspired the story I Need My Monster?
One night, after my neurotic 3 year old daughter, got out of bed again. I wished that she was afraid of monsters. At the time she was afraid of almost everything, but monsters did not phase her one bit.
I know this is a poor reflection on my parenting skills, but I was desperate to get some rest, our fourth child was still an infant.
I think the lack of sleep plus the desire for her to stay in bed spawned the idea that if she did have a monster, he was doing a lousy job, or maybe he was gone. The story evolved from there.
4) What advice do you offer children’s book authors who are just starting out professionally?
Don’t wait until you retire to start writing! It really does take 7 – 10 years to see your first book in print. If you plan to write as a second career, start now.
Also, it’s important to write books that are current. Don’t try to write the kind of story you grew up with. Publishers don’t want dated material.
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