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Julia Golding Interview (pg. 2)

Jun 21, 2007

Sindy: What differences do you see in British versus North American literature for children?
Julia Golding: There seem to be more similarities than differences. Both places have a strong appetite for fantasy. Perhaps one distinct thing about British writers is the use of humor (we don't take ourselves too seriously).

Sindy: Do you find it hard to compete with the Harry Potter phenomenon?
Julia Golding: I don't feel in competition: I feel inspired. J.K. Rowling has done children's writers a huge favor as post-Harry we are taken more seriously and given respect for choosing to write for this end of the market. There won't be another Potter; I'd be more than happy with a modest success and long career, please.

Sindy: How did you make the switch from humanitarian work to writing for children?
Julia Golding: I wrote the first draft of the Companions Quartet while doing the humanitarian work. Some of the themes in the books, the environmental damage we are doing, arose out of what I was seeing around me in the world. It's the big story of our time and our challenge. So it wasn't so much a switch as a continuation in another form.

Sindy: What was your most rewarding moment while working for Oxfam?
Julia Golding: Such is the slow progress of international politics, it came after I left. The UN agreed to work on controlling the trade in small arms, something I had been campaigning for as part of my Oxfam responsibilities.

Sindy: Has your work with organizations like Oxfam and the United Nations influenced the kind of stories you write?
Julia Golding: Aside from the environmental concern, I have borrowed from my experience to put in the stories. Oxfam for example has a board of trustees and international branches; the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures in the Companions Quartet also has trustees and is spread out in a federation across the world. I like to give my stories an international flavor. Most characters go traveling at some point. Also, having seen their impact, I'm against putting guns in civilian hands without really strict controls. Find out in Ringmaster what happens to one particular handgun.

Sindy: What advice would you give to kids who are interested in pursuing a writing career?
Julia Golding: Enjoy writing - don't do it just to get published. Live life to the full as this will enrich your writing. Keep a notebook to hand. Push through to the end of a first draft before worrying if it is right - it is easier to make changes with the [KWLINK 296]story under your belt.

  • Click here to read about the Cat Royal series, and what Julia's kids think of her books!
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