We were lucky to talk to and interview Abi Elphinstone. She was lovely and very inspiring to young writers. It was a real pleasure to meet her and ask her a few questions about her book The Dreamsnatcher, and a couple of general questions as well. We strongly recommend that any child who loves stories with adventure and living in the wild read the book or go to any talks she’s doing.
Q: Glass half full or half empty?
A: Glass half full.
Q: Text or call?
Q: Notebook or laptop?
Q: Bunkbeds – top or bottom?
Q: If you had a day off and money was not an object, what would you do?
A: I would love to climb the fjords in Norway. I did that at Easter recently, and it was amazing. Yes – climb the fjords and hunt dragons.
Q: If you were PM, what would be the first law you passed?
A: Not to abolish libraries, and to make sure they are still around, because I think anybody should be able to get books from just down the road. Not that we were cutting down on them, that we were making more of them. And also a mode of transport could be dragons, as I love them.
Q: If you had a super-power what would it be?
A: I think I would love to fly because it might come in useful.
Q: What would be your ideal workplace ?
A: If I could have an office in a tree, that could be really cool. At the moment I work in a hut at the bottom of the garden, but a tree house would be amazing.
Q: What is your favourite part of the writing process?
A: It’s the bit I’m doing at the time. I do a lot of research, I love it when I do. And then when I write, I love that you get caught up in it all and it’s like, go go go! so it depends on what I’m doing. Although I do find it hard to put everything in order.
Q: If you could have everything in your house painted one colour, what colour would it be?
A: Yellow, because it makes me happy, but then my favourite colour is blue so maybe I would have the top floor yellow and then the bottom floor blue. I would love the ceilings to be painted like the sky.
Q: Why did you choose to include magic in your book, instead of something more realistic?
A: I think it’s because my brain is weird like that. I think I generally believe magic is real. And I think when I see an amazing waterfall I always wonder what might be behind it, and in a world where everything can be proved it is nice to have something that can’t.
Q: Where is the book set?
A: That’s a hard question. Well, it’s not a real place. Parts of it are based on places I went to as a child and things in my childhood garden such as the woods and treehouse.
Q: Did you come up with the poems and spells yourself (as they are very cleverly written)?
A: I did, yes. There was a poem by Edgar Allan Poe called ‘Annabel Lee’ and I used that rhythm to write some of the poems, and I just kind of made up the anagram ones.