Inventing Marcie Gill: Author Monica McInerney on Writing for Children

Inventing Marcie Gill: Author Monica McInerney on Writing for Children
Monica McInerney on Writing for Children

I learned to read as a four-year-old and I can still clearly remember the joy I felt when I first fell into fictional worlds, in books by Enid Blyton in particular. It was as if I was right there beside the characters, living their adventures. I especially loved it when magic popped up.

I have 18 nieces and nephews and many of them have been guinea pigs for my earlier (unpublished) children’s stories (usually starring each of them in different roles.)

When I first started writing Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat, I knew I wanted to include all the ingredients I loved in my childhood reading: family, friendship, fun, drama and adventure – with the addition of a generous sprinkling of magic.

I loved writing ten-year-old Marcie Gill’s character – she is (very) earnest, (overly) curious, (usually) kind but she (definitely) has a temper too, which gets her into trouble. As a lifelong cat lover, I also had great fun with George the cat. Midway through the final edits, I adopted a rescue kitten we named Nicholas. He (uncannily) resembled George, with his black fur and very green eyes. I did most of the final tweaks with Nicholas curled up beside my laptop computer.

My adult novels all have international settings, but for Marcie Gill, the action takes place in the fictional Australian town of Snorkel Bay, in the family’s caravan park. To write those scenes, I recalled childhood holidays by the beach, hot Decembers and the build-up to Christmas.

I loved writing the scenes with all three generations of the Gill family too. There are tensions to be eased, problems to be fixed, they are all worried about Gran – but I wanted to show their love and support for each other too. I’m the middle child of a lively family of seven, with three brothers and three sisters, so I had lots to draw on for the scenes between Marcie and her tennis-mad big sister and fish-obsessed little brother.

I hope young readers will feel like they are right there in the Snorkel Bay Caravan Park, alongside Marcie, George, Gran and all the Gill family, enjoying their adventures and watching the magic unfold.

One of the stars of Australian fiction, Monica is the author of 13 internationally bestselling books for adults, including most recently The Godmothers, shortlisted for the 2021 ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year. Monica grew up in a family of seven children in the Clare Valley of South Australia and has 18 nieces and nephews who are her inspiration for many more Marcie Gill adventures to come. She and her Irish husband have been living between Australia and Ireland for thirty years. They currently live in Australia.

Buy a copy of Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat here.

Reviews

Summer Holiday Magic: Extract from Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, Illustrated by Danny Snell

Review | Extract

16 November 2021

Summer Holiday Magic: Extract from Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, Illustrated by Danny Snell

Activity Pack: Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, Illustrated by Danny Snell

Review | Book Life | News

15 November 2021

Activity Pack: Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, Illustrated by Danny Snell

Teachers' Notes: Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, illustrated by Danny Snell

Review | Author Related | Extract

11 November 2021

Teachers' Notes: Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, illustrated by Danny Snell

Heartwarming and Delightful: Read Our Review of Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, illustrated by Danny Snell

Review | Our Review

10 November 2021

Heartwarming and Delightful: Read Our Review of Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat by Monica McInerney, illustrated by Danny Snell

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                    Publisher details

                    Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat
                    Authors
                    Danny Snell, Monica McInerney
                    Publisher
                    Penguin
                    Genre
                    Children’s Fiction
                    Released
                    02 November, 2021
                    ISBN
                    9781760894139

                    Synopsis

                    Recommended for ages 9+.

                    This heartwarming story by award-winning and bestselling author Monica McInerney will delight readers young and old.

                    Marcie Gill hasn’t had a great start to the Christmas holidays. Her parents aren’t talking to each other and the family business – the Snorkel Bay Caravan Park – is in financial trouble. Her younger brother will only talk about his 23 goldfish and her sister is obsessed with tennis. To make matters worse her gran is in the hospital after a bad fall and won’t be home for ages.

                    But then something magical happens. Something that involves a Christmas competition, a black cat called George and a wishing stone. Marcie is about to discover that if you wish hard enough, dreams can come true.
                    Monica McInerney
                    About the author

                    Monica McInerney

                    One of the stars of Australian fiction, Monica McInerney is the author of the internationally bestselling novels A Taste for ItUpside Down Inside OutSpin the BottleThe Alphabet SistersFamily BaggageThose Faraday Girls, At Home with the Templetons, Lola's Secret, The House of Memories, Hello from the Gillespies, The Trip of a Lifetime and The Godmothers, and a short story collection, All Together Now. Those Faraday Girls was the winner of the General Fiction Book of the Year prize at the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards. In 2006 Monica was the ambassador for the Australian Government initiative Books Alive, with her novella Odd One Out. Monica grew up in a family of seven children in the Clare Valley of South Australia and has been living between Australia and Ireland for twenty years. She and her Irish husband currently live in Dublin.

                    Books by Monica McInerney

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