An Unlikely Animal Trio: Q&A with Mem Fox, Author of Cat Dog

An Unlikely Animal Trio: Q&A with Mem Fox, Author of Cat Dog

Mem Fox is one of Australia’s most beloved children’s authors, with more than 40 books to her name, including Koala Lou and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.

Mem, who lives in Adelaide, boasts an array of book awards and also received an AM for services to the cultural life of Australia in 1993.

She is now releasing her new book with illustrator Mark Teague, Cat Dog, in October — a read-aloud gem about the irresistibly funny antics of an unlikely animal trio.

To celebrate the upcoming release, Mem shares with us the first book she wrote at just 10 years old and the challenges she still faces today.

What is the book Cat Dog about?

It’s a call-and-response book about a dozy dog, an active cat and their interactions with a lively mouse.

What was the inspiration behind Cat Dog?

I wrote a school reader centuries ago — A Cat Called Kite — which my American editor found on my bookshelf. It gave her ideas. She encouraged me to rewrite it, a process that’s taken almost 10 years for a book of only 135 words.

What do you hope young readers take away from Cat Dog?

A lot of happy yelling of the words YES! And NO!

When did you first start to write?

I wrote my book when I was ten. It was about soil erosion, of all things. I read it to my mother who said, absently, ‘That’s lovely, darling.’ I loved writing from that moment on.

What is your story-writing process?

I don’t have a process really. I have bursts of being interested but many more periods of, ‘I can’t be bothered. It’s all too hard.’ I’m probably working on stories in the back of my mind a lot of the time but most days, amazingly, I don’t write at all.

What are the biggest challenges you face when writing?

One of the reasons I put aside my writing so often is because writing a picture book is so much more than merely writing down a story. The rhythm of the words has to be, well…rhythmic! And that’s incredibly difficult to achieve. And each word has to be the very best word I can find, either in my own head or in a thesaurus. It can’t be any old word. And picture books are theatrical. They’re going to be read aloud in a dramatic fashion, so there has to be drama, highs and lows, noise and quiet. Writing picture books is a nightmare. But when they’re done, it’s a dream!

Cat Dog will be released on 19 October 2021.

Related Articles

Podcast: Mem Fox Talks About Life, and Writing about Death for her Grandson

Podcast

23 October 2019

Podcast: Mem Fox Talks About Life, and Writing about Death for her Grandson

    Research, Inspiration and Intricate Details: Q&A with The Tiny Star Illustrator, Freya Blackwood

    News | Author Related

    17 October 2019

    Research, Inspiration and Intricate Details: Q&A with The Tiny Star Illustrator, Freya Blackwood

    Authors Read For You

    Kids & Ya

    30 July 2019

    Authors Read For You

    Publisher details

    Cat Dog
    Authors
    Mark Teague, Mem Fox
    Publisher
    Penguin
    Genre
    Children’s Fiction
    Released
    19 October, 2021
    ISBN
    9781761045868

    Synopsis

    Recommended for ages 0+.

    Join an unlikely animal trio for some irresistibly funny antics in this read-aloud gem from bestselling, award-winning and much-loved author Mem Fox and acclaimed illustrator Mark Teague.

    There is a cat in this book. There is also a dog. And there is a whole lot of crazy stuff going on ... Right?
    Mem Fox
    About the author

    Mem Fox

    Mem Fox has written more than 40 books for children, including the bestselling and much-loved picture books Possum Magic and Where is the Green Sheep? Other books by Mem include Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Hunwick’s Egg, Hello Baby!, A Giraffe in the Bath, Koala Lou, Baby Bedtime and Roly Poly. In 2019, The Tiny Star was released to great critical acclaim from the Australian Book Industry, and March 2021 saw the release of another new picture book, Early One Morning. Mem has been presented with an array of book awards, and was awarded an AM for services to the cultural life of Australia in 1993. Mem lives in Adelaide and is a retired Associate Professor of Literacy Studies from Flinders University, South Australia.

    Books by Mem Fox

    COMMENTS

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *