I’m back again with another Interview with Sherry Christie, Author of ‘Crash Bang Ooooooo!’. The children’s novel Crash Bang Ooooooo! is about a rabbit who really wants to win a medal or trophy in the Golden Olympics. His journey leads him all around the world in the hope of finding a talent that can earn him his medal. He is a very optimistic rabbit who is willing to try anything. Sherry Christie lives in North Cornwall with her family and has a degree in Criminology with Psychology including Child Psychology. She has worked with children in Preschools and youth clubs. She loves all wildlife and writes some of her novels to raise funds for Wildlife charities!
Where did the inspiration for Crash Bang Ooooooo come from?
The title came first with Crash! Bang! “Ooooooo”. Years ago, my eldest daughter, then aged two, was describing how someone had fallen. “She went, crash, bang, Oooooo,” said my daughter, shaking her head sorrowfully. It really made me laugh. When we were reminiscing one evening last year she said it again and I thought, that is a great title for a book.
I love the message this novel sends out to children. You can’t be good at everything but everyone is good at something. I love how Rabbit doesn’t give up trying, what was the main message you want children to take from your novel?
I love Rabbit’s perseverance and self- belief. He rolls with each disaster and never loses faith in his ability to be a winner. “Believe in yourself,” is a very important message. I deliberately chose a rabbit for my hero, to show you don’t have to be the biggest or strongest to be the best.
Rabbit travels around the world to attempt some of the records he wants to break at the Animal Olympics, how did you choose where Rabbit was going to visit?
I began by thinking of the most visually interesting sports in the Olympics. This then led to researching the best places in the world to train. Fortunately, this provided a lovely diversity of mountains, beaches and the city. I hope it inspires children to want to explore the world.
Was there a particular moment in which you realised you wanted to write novels?
I have been making up stories, creating characters and writing for as long as I can remember. It was how I played as a child. In that respect have never grown up. I have endless lists of imaginary friends, half-finished stories and ideas that go back decades. In the last couple of years, I decided it was about time I submitted some finished projects to a publisher.
Why did you choose to write a children’s novel rather than adults?
I like to play with words, I love rhyme and alliteration and the way words can sound together. There is so much more scope for this in children’s books, especially as they are more often read aloud. Children’s books are so fun to write too, in that you can completely lose yourself in fantasy.
You volunteered to work with children in preschools and youth groups, has this inspired your writing?
Definitely. I learn a lot from listening to children play and get inspiration from their imaginative games. Their perspective and priorities are very different from us boring adults. Very often a child will say something fun that I scribble down for later thoughts. Working with children has also given me an opportunity to see where my books can help children with their social development and what positive messages I can help reinforce.
Is there any advice you would give to other aspiring authors? Or any advice that you were given that you would like to share?
My one piece of advice is, make every word count. I spend a great deal of time searching for the best adjectives and restructuring sentences to cull unnecessary words. It really lifts the writing to a different level.
What are your hobbies/ favourite pastimes outside of writing?
Four children ranging from 15 down to 4 certainly keeps me busy. We are fortunate that we live in North Cornwall by the coast. So, we have the beautiful Cornish moors beaches and woods to explore. I love to be around nature and encouraging it into my garden.
Now that Crash Bang Ooooooo! has been published are you planning any other novels?
Plenty. I have, “The Orangutan Who had a Big Chip on his Shoulder”, coming out in February and have submitted more to my publisher for this year’s list. I also write books to raise funds for wildlife charities.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is there anything that you would love to have accomplished?
I have for many years been working on a longer novel about a fairy who believes in humans. I hope one day to finish that. At the speed I am going, five years might be a bit ambitious.
What is your all-time favourite book and why?
My all-time favourite book would be Alice in Wonderland because it is so bonkers. It taught me at an early age, there are no limits to imagination
What is your favourite quote and why?
My favourite author is the late Sir Terry Pratchett and my favourite character is Granny Weatherwax, so to quote her, “Everything has a story in it, change the story, change the world.” That feels empowering.
And finally, if you were stranded on a desert island, in which you could only take 3 items, what would you take and why?
How exciting! Unlimited paper, a pen and a camera would keep me entertained for months. I could write undisturbed and look for exciting wildlife to photograph. I am thinking positive and assuming I’d be rescued… eventually. No need for them to hurry though.
We loved this story, Rabbit is very inspirational and also very comedic and I hope you all can enjoy it too! Don’t forget to pick up your copy!