Today we talk about The adventures of Drodgie the Smidget, a book by Glendyr Stavrou published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Glendyr Stavrou to get to know her better, where she found the inspiration to write about The adventures of Drodgie the Smidgetk, as well as how illustrations are important in a children’s book.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Where did you find the inspiration to write about Drongie the Smidget.?
I got my inspiration in fact, from my husband Leandros. He’s a classical guitar teacher and on the first day of the December holidays we had a special breakfast on our lovely farm veranda looking out over the emerald green hills of the midlands of Kwa Zulu Natal. Croissants and coffee. I brushed some crumbs from my T shirt and he, always playful and creative said. “Don’t do that the Smidgets will get them!” I replied “and who are the Smidgets?” Having never heard of a Smidget before. So he created the fantastical little beings, there and then. Over our remaining breakfast my imagination had the little creatures living in the rock crevices on our farm. Leandros christened him Drongie. The name simply popped into his head, just as the Smidgets had. He christened most of my characters. I spent the rest of the school holidays writing flat out. Every now and then he would ask what was going to happen next. My reply was always the same. “I have no idea!” It was true, Drongie’s adventures evolved spontaneously as I typed. I was as surprised by the outcomes as anyone reading him for the first time.
- How important do you think illustrations are in a children’s book?
I think illustrations are extremely important, in fact essential for children! They open the doors of the imagination for every reader to really grasp the character and then allow them to picture the story unfolding. After all, we all have pictures of our family and friends, Drongie and friends hopefully become my readers extended family through seeing him as well as reading his stories. Sometimes when children are faced with pages and pages of plain typed print it may feel a little daunting. If there is a colourful picture of an important character it draws them in, causing them to want to know more. I wish I could have had even more illustrations. Rache, my illustrator and I had such fun creating them. I hope to inspire so many children, and the young at heart as well, with the illustrations and consequently the stories. Even the baddies in the story surely deserve to be seen. I think so.
- What would you like to hear from your readers?
I obviously would be delighted to hear that they have been excited reading Drongie and have them talk with excitement about his sometimes hair-raising experiences! And to talk of loyal friendships and kindness to each other. Especially if they became aware of, and sensitive to animals, and their needs. If they told people they should care for and love them, and not to scare their dogs and cats, which I feel very strongly about. That would make me very happy. And even if they told people not to squash spiders and bugs because they all have a place. That would be great. I just really want them to talk of Drongie with pleasure and I hope more than anything else that they are enchanted with him and that the stories have been a beautiful experience for all my readers. Hopefully they will enjoy him enough to want the other Drongie books as well. He is such an indomitable little being,
- How did it feel to see your book published?
Seeing Drongie published is very thrilling. Especially as it was such a spontaneous evolvement. It was fun from start to finish in all three of the books. They are my favourites out of the books I have written. To have my characters come alive in print, and to be given the opportunity to introduce them to people I have never, and never will personally know is such a humbling experience. If reading the book makes them smile, and at the end they have had pleasure, it means it is a worthwhile project for me, and hopefully for Europe Books as well. In fact, I was excited when a child of around nine years old who read Drongie decided she wanted to write a book about fairies. That truly made me glow on the inside! Maybe more children will become creative through Drongie being available. Being published is important to me on a personal level.
- Are you working on new writing projects that you can tell us about?
Yes, I have other writing projects on the go and some more in my head. Having completed the Drongie trilogy, I moved my focus to a true story for young adults, or older children. It is the story of my young filly whom I bought off a mountainside unhandled and she tells her own story of becoming a trained riding horse. That book is very dear to my heart, she was very special. Then there is an adult fiction and it’s sequel, I suppose they would be described as light romantic dramas. The major character in the first book, a young vet nurse, takes us on her personal journey after a dramatic break up into an entirely different life choice moving from a city veterinary practice, to a country practice, also set in the Midlands. The reader is introduced to her new friends and their lives and loves. The sequel covers the next generation of the two families who were the key characters, their lives, challenges and the choices they make, along with the consequences. An enormous project is the story of a young Malawian man who had had a torturous youth and still has integrity and grace.
Europe Books thanks the author Glendyr Stavrou once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book The adventures of Drodgie the Smidget. We wish her the best of luck for her book and for her future works.
To you, my dear reader I hope this book excites you. And remember that, no matter how adult you are, books for children have a lot to teach us all! Written in simple and clear concepts, illustrated children’s book have the ability to give important life lessons both to children’s development and to adults, as they awaken our forgotten child side.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!