5 mins with... Christina Gabbitas

The London Book Fair, 17 Oct 2013 16:28

Christina Gabbitas @poemspictures is a Children's Author at Poems and Pictures, who will be a first time exhibitor at LBF 2014. Visit Christina on stand A510 in the Children's and YA Publishing zone.

What was the last book you read?

Mad Girls Love Song – Andrew Wilson (Sylvia Plath and Life before Ted). Fascinating and informative read  giving you an understanding of her life up to before meeting Ted Hughes. An Insight into her childhood life and growing up gives you a better understand of her poetry, her inspiration and her persona. The author, Andrew Wilson describes Sylvia Plath as a troubled soul, a high achiever , an intelligent woman, losing her father at a young age and how her mother dictated and influenced her. The complications of fitting in and being a woman as well as striving to be a poet and a writer, the idea of marriage and children and the men in her lives are all described with in depth research.

How did you buy it?
WHSmith Bookshop

And what did you read it on?

What’s next on your reading list?
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Which writer would have loved to have met – and why?
I would have loved to have met Spike Milligan, who was an inspiration on many counts, a truly iconic figure . I especially loved his literary nonsense and a favourite has to be his Silly Verse for Kids. ‘On the Ning Nang Nong’ is brilliant! It is my aim as an author to try and engage young children reading and to ‘have a go’ at writing, Spike is a great ambassador as to how this can be done without rules and unpretentiousness  

Tell us what you/your company does in 20 words or fewer?
My mission is to try and inspire, engage and motivate children into reading and writing with FUN.

What do you like about your job?
I love the variation of many hats I wear but especially love the interaction with my audience, reading stories to children with the character voices (which I narrate on Cd and are sold with the Felicity Fly books) The narration helps engage children to read along with fun. I have even inspired teachers to sing in the style of an Italian Vacuum cleaner.

Which is your favourite bookshop or ebookstore – and why?
WHSmith has to be my favourite bookshop. I find the staff very helpful and engaging, along with supporting a new author and independent small publisher. WHSmith have given me a platform to engage with children, parents and teachers, who all appreciate the background and incentive for my writing. Talking and listening to your audience is the best testimony and PR   

Who has been your greatest inspiration, and why?
My children have been my greatest inspiration followed by Spike Milligan’s silliness. Children have a great propensity to be silly and laugh and I applaud anybody who can achieve this.

What is the one essential item you bring to the Fair?
My books and me.

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