Today we talk about The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies, a book by Catie Zorn published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Catie Zorn, to get to know her better, how she described the ideal readers of her book The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies, as well as the message she wanted to communicate to the audience.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What is the moment that brought you to the writing of your book?
There were actually two moments which brought me to writing “The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies” I wrote the first manuscript when I was in my early thirties. My daughters were six years old and three years old and both had lively imaginations. They loved make up stories about anything but especially about fairies. My elder daughter, Gemma, loved to sit on the kitchen unit and talk while I was busy in the kitchen and she loved the different names of the spices and herbs. With both daughters, Gemma and Laura, we used to imagine there were fairies in different places and if something went missing or seemed to be in a different place, we put it down to the fairies playing whilst we were asleep. And so, the “The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies” was a creation from our imaginings. I wrote it and typed it up and when we were posted out to Japan in the early 1990s I forgot about it! Years later and 4 grandchildren in the picture, with just as lively imaginations, I found the manuscript and read it. But it was very dated. So, hoping to read it to my grandchildren, I re-wrote it leaving the fairies just as they were, but changing the kitchen appliances and the owner of the kitchen, to bring it into today’s world.
- How would you describe the ideal readers of your book?
What can I say? The ideal readers of “The KItchen Cupboard Fairies” would have to be children and adults who believe in fairies! I would like the reader to imagine themselves as small as their smallest finger and seeing the kitchen and all its appliances and objects from that tiny statue. They live in a salad bowl, but the reader must not imagine holding that salad bowl in their hands but imagine it as a vast deep safe place where they and the other fairies can snuggle down after a night of exciting adventures. Perhaps they will imagine being as small as Coriander and making “A Bed Fit For A Princess” in a tiny matchbox. Or imagine themselves on the revolving cake board roundabout, which would seem as big as an ice-skating rink and wheezing around as fast as lightning! And just imagine that fairies just like my “KItchen Cupboard Fairies” live in their own kitchens and look around at the things in the kitchen that their live-in fairies would play with! Talk to their Mums and Dads as they are busy in the kitchen, and, of course, Mum and Dad will believe in the fairies too! The book will appeal to children, as young as 4 years old, as they listen to an imaginative adult or older sibling reading about the fairies’ adventures. And older more able readers up to the age of 9 or 10 years will enjoy the antics of “The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies”.
- What is the message you want to communicate to your readers?
I am not sure that there is a profound message to convey in “The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies” I wrote the book to be enjoyed for all the mischievous fun and antics of the young fairies, and to stimulate the imagination of children and perhaps adults too! However, there are some good examples to be noticed by even younger readers. The fairy group is not a family as such. Vanilla and Cinnamon are not referred to as Mum and Dad. Similarly, Coriander, Tabasco and Tarragon are not siblings. In today’s world there are different “family” groupings and in that regard “The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies” does not present a stereo-type family which allows all young readers, no matter what their own family background may be, to relate to the fairy group. There is a strong message of respect. The young fairies clearly have great love and respect for Vanilla and Cinnamon. They have their fun and get things wrong or make a mess and they always have the strength of the two older, wiser fairies to rely on and guide them. Coriander, Tabasco and Tarragon do respect each other’s wishes and property, yes, even hot-headed Tabasco shows that he is a considerate soul! They work and play together and this relays a message of cooperation and consideration for others. A strong message to young readers is that it is fine to explore life, to have fun and adventures but that often these escapades have consequences and they will need to face up to them. But at their young ages there are older, wiser, individuals who are there to help and guide them and they are to be looked up to heeded and respected.
- How did it feel to see your book published?
Of course, when I saw my book finally printed, I was immensely proud. I grew up in a household where literature was very important. My father was a dedicated English teacher and our house was filled with books. He also wrote articles for a magazine. My Mother told me the most wonderful stories at bedtime which she made up and even my favourites were never quite the same twice! One of the most powerful feelings about my book being published is just how much it would have thrilled my father if he were alive to see it in print. When I wrote “The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies” all those years ago, the first manuscript, I wrote it with the intention of trying to get it published as well as for the pleasure of reading it to my own daughters. So, years on from then it is an amazing feeling to have published at last and to be able to say “Hey, I am a published author!” Now I look forward to the pleasure of reading the actual book to my grandchildren. They already know all about “The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies” and you cannot imagine the wonderful feeling when my grand daughter, Sarah, says she wants to be just like Coriander!
- Are you working on a new writing project you can tell us about?
After I re wrote “The Kitchen Cupboard Fairies” I was inspired to write more and more. I have written a series of stories which, again, feature the magical world of fairies. These stories were not written for publication and I have called them “The Oscar and Sarah Adventures” as they are about my grandson and granddaughter. I have written a short story about a giant and a snail, called “The Giant and the Snail” It is about a giant who loves the colour pink and a snail who longs to be able to read, I won’t say more than that! I am half way through a second book about “The KItchen Cupboard Fairies”. In this book Zelda’s mother wants her salad bowl back and the fairies have to find a new home in Zelda’s kitchen. Once settled into that new home there are more adventures and mischief from Tabasco. Tarragon and Coriander. And I am working on the idea of all five fairies paying an accidental visit to the TV studio where Zelda records her “Cooking With Kids” programme! I would really love to see a set of “Kitchen Cupboard Fairy” dolls perhaps in the future I am also hoping to compile a “Kitchen Cupboard Fairies Cookbook”.
Europe Books thanks the author Catie Zorn 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 Kitchen Cupboard Fairies. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish this book intrigues you, amuses you and at the same time allows you to reflect on the importance of the family, not necessarily the traditional one, where respect and love represent the values that strongly guide the relationship between one and the other!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy this very precious reading!