Q&A with Sarah Harris

Sarah Harris is a successful journalist who has now turned her hand to writing children’s books. We decided to find out a little more about her and these new books…:

What were your favourite childhood books?

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett; Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis and all the Enid Blyton, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books I could lay my hands on.

Prince Jasper’s first book is out this month, so please tell us a little about him and what he gets up to.

Prince Jasper loves helping people, but he’s often too helpful which gets him into lots of trouble such as the time he re-hung the chandeliers in the palace and they all fell down and he polished the floors until they were as slippery as ice rinks.  In the first book in the series, his father, King Monty, has had enough of Prince Jasper’s ‘helpfulness’ and suggests that he goes on a quest to find a princess who needs his advice. Before Prince Jasper leaves the palace, he accidentally helps some jewel thieves steal the Crown Jewels.

However, he meets his match when he eventually stumbles across grumpy Princess Miranda who doesn’t want to be rescued from her tower. She persuades him to help her build a catapult with sticky consequences! Later in the four-book series, Prince Jasper attempts to track down the jewel thieves who stole the Crown Jewels, encounters a dragon with poor personal hygiene and gets kidnapped by pirates. Will his helpfulness save the day? You’ll have to wait and see!

As well as Prince Jasper, we can look forward to a Pirate Secrets series, so what adventures can we expect and when are these books coming out?

Pirate Secrets is a four-book series about pirate brothers – Captains Blackbeard, Orangebeard, Yellowbeard and Redbeard – who each have a secret to hide. It’s being launched by Tick Tock in summer 2011. In the first book, Captain Orangebeard, the scariest pirate in the world, likes nothing better than making people walk the plank. However, he has terrible eyesight and needs to wear glasses -only he doesn’t think this is a very pirately thing to do. When he loses his parrot, Bert, his crew finally guess his secret and find a replacement bird – a pelican. Captain Orangebeard’s problems are only just beginning…

Which do you find more exciting – journalism or writing for children?

I enjoy both but they’re very different disciplines. I like the fast-paced nature of news and find it exciting that you never know what you will be writing about each day. I enjoy interviewing interesting people, particularly other children’s authors. However, writing for children is my real passion. I love the excitement of getting an idea, finding a ‘voice’ for a character and going on a journey with them. I get a real sense of satisfaction, working out a plot and seeing the pieces all fall into place by the end.

If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?

Princess Leia from Star Wars. I was obsessed with the film as a child and loved my Princess Leia notebook, which I used to write stories in. I liked her because she didn’t just stand on the sidelines and wait to be rescued. She was feisty and could look after herself, fighting her own corner. She also got to kiss Han Solo, which can’t be too bad. I remember seeing the film for the first time and crying when I came out of the cinema because I thought that life could never be as good as Star Wars.

Share 3 of your passions with us

My children, writing and eating good food!

Thanks, Sarah! Hope you all enjoyed finding out more about Sarah and her books? We’ll be bringing you our reviews of the Prince Jasper books here soon.