We have been chuckling over P. Crumbles books for years! We also decided that the authors real name must be Peach. How fabulous to be called Peach Crumble! As it turns out, his name is Paul. Each of the books we read of Paul’s are funny and make us all laugh.
Here is what Mr P.Crumble had to say.
How do you find inspiration for your books?
The weird thing about inspiration is that it’s usually quite a slippery character. I’m always writing myself notes on my phone; snippets of a potential storylines, amusing word combinations or even funny names. The difficult part is interpreting my cryptic notes! I get inspired by the absurd and I find amusement in the smallest things. Being a keen observer helps with finding inspiration and I’m always on the lookout for the ridiculous. More often than not, the ridiculous is either right in front of me or staring back at me from the mirror!
How long does it take to write a book?
I generally work across several stories at the same time – all at different stages. Some stories just flow and the building blocks of the final book can be done in a couple of weeks. Other stories just refuse to be written and take months (years!) I sometimes get started with an “inspiration avalanche” and then get buried under the words. If a story is not making me laugh or just doesn’t flow I usually take a break from it and work on something else. Over last summer I worked on a new book called Santa’s Gone Surfing. I had been toiling away at another story but I was not feeling the love for it. So I went for a walk down to the beach and being Xmas there were quite a number of folks dressed up as Santa. It made me wonder what would happen if the real Santa headed down to the beach.
Is there any advice you can offer someone looking to get a book idea published?
Love what you write and acknowledge your strengths. Be genuine with your words and don’t over-engineer things.
Resilience is also critical. The editing process can be brutal but ultimately it can push you towards a better story outcome.
Does where you live inspire your books?
Not really. For me the weather can be a game changer. When it is lousy weather I do find it very difficult to write. I think I’m more productive (and way funnier!) when the sun is shining.
What kind of space do you work in?
My official work space is a basic desk in a spare room at home. However, as I work on a laptop and I can often be found perched at various spots at home – usually in a vain attempt to evade our cat who insists on settling on my lap whenever I am working. He is quite a hefty cat who snores.
Do you have a favourite book? One of yours and another author.
I do love the Me & Moo series that I did with Nathaniel Eckstrom . The characters make me smile every time and Nathaniel’s illustrations are spectacular.
I am totally jealous of Oliver Jeffers. He is a great story teller, full of positive humour and his illustrations are amazing. He has a wonder style.
Did your parents encourage your creativity? Did you do art courses growing up for instance.
I grew up in a time before computers and the internet! Can you imagine that? We always read at our house and getting a book as a gift was a huge treat. I think growing up in an environment that encouraged reading definitely fosters creativity. If only I could draw as well. I can barely sign my name!
Do you have a cat or know of one that inspired The Cat Wants Custard? (this book makes us all laugh!)
Funnily enough, the aforementioned hefty, snoring cat adopted us after I had written the first “The Cat Wants…” book. The similarities to Kevin from the book are incredible. Here’s a photo of our cat helping me work…
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished “The Cat Wants Cuddles”, “Santa’s Gone Surfing” and there is another “There was an old lady…” book on the way.
Plus I’m finalising the edits on a new series for a slightly older age bracket “A Funny Thing Happened to Simon Sidebottom”. The format is quite a twist on traditional story formats and fingers crossed kids find it laugh-out-loud funny.