I LOVE YOU BOOK – MEET THE AUTHOR, LIBBY HATHORN

Libby Hathorn, author of I Love You Book has  been writing stories since she could hold a pencil and spell out words. She has published more than 50 books for children.  Libby says,

It’s a life-long love affair with story and the way in which thoughts and words are able to be put down and then make meaning on a page.

ON BEING A WRITER

I have a portable profession and one that is always absorbing. Wherever I am my thoughts and dreams go too- and the fun of being a writer is making these ideas into meanings , weaving new stories or creating new poems for someone else- the reader!

According to Libby, the hardest thing about writing can sometimes be letting go of characters and settings you’ve been immersed in for months even years on end, can be difficult.

When I first began writing books I liked ‘singing up’ Australian families (Thunderwith a YA novel  which Hallmark made into a movie, and is still in print after 21 years); and  Australian settings The Tram to Bondi Beach (still in print after 30 years)as there were not so many  Oz books available. then And even now my latest YA novel is set in the Blue Mountains though my picture books could be anywhere in the world eg I Love You Book.

Before she became a writer, Libby says she had the best job in the world for someone who loves books and stories. Libby was a teacher-librarian.

I who loved the job of bringing kids and books together. But better still is being a fuull-time writer.

At the moment she is working on a beautiful picture storybook, a book of poetry and a novel which is a timeslip story.

I love poetry and many of my thoughts and inspiration on come directly from poetry. I’ve been really pleased to compile The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people last year and I’m working on more poetry this year.

LIBBY’S TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS

Read a lot and of course  write a lot- every day of your life if you can. There are my Golden Rules  for Writing which can be read at www.libbyhathorn.com

HOW LIBBY WROTE “I LOVE YOU BOOK”

I was inspired by a trip to Papua New Guinea some years ago when I was lucky enough to take part in a high school assembly of a few hundred boys in their school in Goroka. Some of the mothers of the boys had been coming to school so that they could learn to read themselves and luckily for me today was the day they were putting on a play that sounded like a poem to me. They told the audience the way that books and learning to read had changed their lives. I love you book, they said because you take me to places and you open up my world. I was so moved  by that little play that I vowed to make a picture storybook for kids celebrating the book itself one day. And I Love You Book is the result.

What’s it about?

The book tells of the way in which books can transport us making us fly! It’s also about the sensuous response to the book as an object in our lives- taste, touch smell and sound as well as the sight of a book. It’s an absolute celebration of the book.

What age groups is it for?

Little kids and their parents.

Why will kids like it?

Heath’s lively illustrations follow a little girl and her brother as they literally dive into the world of books and have their adventures.

THE CHARACTERS

Though the character is not named the book is dedicated to my granddaughter Ruby and it is through her eyes that the action happens as she and her little brother experience all the delights of being read to, or  reading themselves and being carried away by the ideas in books.

It is unique in its lively celebration of the book as an artefact, part and parcel of our lives through a text that swoops and dives, and through Heath Mackenzie’s lively and most appropriate illustrations.  As a writer in  all the excitement of  e-books and lots of imaginative developments online, I also  wanted to celebrate what is special about the book as object, as a tactile and collectible and rewarding object in our lives.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Remembering the wonderful ways books inspired me all my life  and the way they continue to inspire  me and lots of others, particularly children

What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

Finding the illustrator who could do it justice in the way Heath has. I feel very lucky to have found his work and then to have  had his imaginative input.

Tomorrow, Heath Mackenzie is visiting Kids’ Book Capers to talk about how his work and how he illustrated this wonderful book.

Published by

Dee White

Dee White lives with her husband and two sons in a small rural country town which has more kangaroos than people. She has worked as an advertising copywriter and journalist and has had numerous career changes because until recently, writing wasn’t considered to be a proper job. Letters to Leonardo, her first novel with Walker Books Australia, was published in 2009 to great critical acclaim.