The Total Package: Read our Q&A with Jen Storer, author of Danny Best: Me First!

The Total Package: Read our Q&A with Jen Storer, author of Danny Best: Me First!

JenStorer - cred Samara CliffordBetter Reading was fortunate enough to sit down with Jen Storer, author of Danny Best: Me First.

Who IS Danny Best?

I’m shocked you have to ask such a question! Danny Best is a legend. Everyone knows that. Personally, I don’t know how a boy his age (8 ¾) copes with such fame. But, then again, he is extraordinary. Just ask him…

Who else makes up Danny’s world?

Danny’s friends all live in the same street as him. It’s so handy! Danny’s best friend is Fab (who is kind of long-suffering). Then there’s Clancy, Sticks, Mae (who always wears a cow onesie) and Dylan. There is also Scribbly Kid. He’s not real. But he keeps wandering into the stories…

Danny also has a dog called Pugsley. Pugsley has a wind problem.

I think you can have more fun, be gross and silly. It’s a hoot.

x200 (1)Why do you think young readers find illustrated fiction so engaging?

Because it’s a total package. It’s visual and textual so it’s multilayered. Kids respond to that. They love losing themselves in it. Adult books should have illustrations, too. They’d be much more absorbing. Adult fiction can be so dull.

The Danny Best series is such a high-energy, dynamic reading experience – was this intentional? How did you achieve that?

Yes, absolutely intentional. I can’t say exactly how I achieve it, except to say heaps of thought and work goes into the writing, the illustration and the design. It all has to fit together. It’s a team effort. Team Danny rock!

Mitch Vane’s illustrations bring such life to these books, how has it been working together? How have things changed now that you’re into book #3?x200 (2)

I’ve known Mitch for years. I LOVE working with her. She’s so talented and funny. And a bit evil, too. We spend most of our time together laughing.

Now we’re into book #3, we’re more efficient. We’re clearer on what we’re aiming for and the overall goal. Book #1 took us ages. There was lots of to-ing and fro-ing and experimenting. We were a bit clueless. Not anymore. Now we’re legends…

Do you find inspiration in visiting schools and meeting children who are the same age as your characters?

Yes, indeed. I often scribble down what they say or do or how they behave. I’m on the look-out for material all the time.

How didx200 you start in children’s literature? Was it something you had always wanted to do?

I was interested in it for many years, but I didn’t pursue it with much commitment. Then, in my thirties, I began working in children’s publishing. That’s when I really fell in love with kids’ books and their creators.

Three current children’s authors who’s work you love at the moment?

Kate Di Camillo. Cressida Cowell. Jude Rossell. (And Beatrice Alemanga for picture books)

Which children’s character do you wish you had written?

Hagrid. I adore him.

What’s next for you?

I want to be a farmer.

Grab a copy here and read our review!

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Mitch Vane
About the author

Mitch Vane

Mitch Vane has had a long career as an illustrator and artist. Her distinctive loose energetic style can be seen in many of the children's books she has illustrated including The Deep End ( Ursula Dubosarsky) and Bed Tails (Meredith Costain ). Mitch collaborated with  Danny Katz on the YABBA award-winning Little Lunch series which has now become a popular ABC3 Tv series.You can see more of what Mitch is up to on her website at www.mitchvane.com

Books by Mitch Vane

Jen Storer
About the author

Jen Storer

Jen Storer is a talented and exciting writer for children. Her fantasy novel Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children was shortlisted for a string of awards, including the Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Best Children's Fiction) and the 2011 CBCA, Book of the Year.Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Jen worked in the publishing industry as an editor, a project manager and in creative development. Jen has a studio at the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne.

Books by Jen Storer

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