What is the funniest thing a reader has ever told you?
I don’t know about being told anything funny, but I did run a writing competition last year in which I asked children to re-write the ending to the prologue of my first series book. Some of their alternative endings were very amusing, with characters transforming into superheroes, and even one of them changing Dotty’s name (which she hates) to Dottarella, so that she didn’t mind people calling her by it any more. That really made me smile.
If you were an architect what type of house/building would you design? Explain your answer please.
Oh, that’s easy. It would be mad Victorian-style Gothic pile perched high on a cliff out in the wilds, with towers and secret rooms and staircases to nowhere. My favourite kind of house! I love old houses – so quirky and full of nonsensical and inexplicable nooks and crannies. Perhaps it would be something like the house from the 1995 film Casper starring Christina Ricci – Whipstaff Manor. That house is amazing! Dripping with Art Nouveau design. So fluid and almost Gaudi-esque in places. I was so disappointed when I discovered it was a film set and not a real house hidden away somewhere that I could visit!
Do you ever laugh or cry while reading your own books? Explain!
I often giggle at the antics of some of the more comic characters in my books. In particular the constant sparring between Great Uncle Winchester’s greedy spaniel, Geoff, and the cook, Mrs Gobbins, makes me laugh. She is so disapproving of him, but he always manages to snaffle something from the kitchen table whilst she’s not looking.
It takes a very special book indeed to make me cry and I can’t put my own into that category, although I do feel very sad for my heroine, Dotty, at times. She is so alone after the loss of her parents, although she’s a real fighter, so she makes the best of it. There is one point in the first book, Dotty and the Calendar House Key, where she and her best friend are talking on Skype and she reaches out to touch the screen. The unspoken need to have physical contact with her friend at that point in the story is quite poignant, I think.
What is the last book you read? Why did you read it?
I am currently in the process of reading the manuscript of an author friend of mine about a boy who moves to Alaska and I’m absolutely hooked on it. I love his work! So imaginative. It’s not yet published though, so I can’t give the name away, I’m afraid ;o)
What author, living or dead, would you most like to meet and what would you ask them?
Without a doubt it would have to be Charles Dickens. He is my all-time favourite author and a massive inspiration to me. I would love to ask him where he gets the ideas for his characters and how he builds his plots. They are so intricate and well-planned! I would also love to chat with him about his use of his writing to highlight social issues of the day.
Who wrote your favorite book, the one you have read over and over again? What makes this book your favorite?
I have so many favourites, that’s a difficult one to answer! I love classic literature, so it would probably have to be one of the classics – The story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo always makes me cry – not the happy ending they give it in the Disney version! And Hugo uses such beautiful imagery in his descriptions of Paris. You can almost smell it.
Learn more about Emma Warner-Reed at:
C.M. Huddleston's Review of Dotty and the Calendar House Key by Emma Warner-Reed
Emma Warner-Reed created a lovable young girl in "Dotty and the Calendar House Key." Dotty has spunk and uses her head to figure out how to defeat her new enemies, despite the lack of help from the adults in her life. This book has a slow beginning, but the second half rocks, so just keep reading and you’ll find a well-written bit of fun with a very British sound.
Update: This review is a bit old. There are already two more Dotty books!
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