This week I’m thrilled (thrilled, I tell you!) to welcome Katy Haye to Inheritance Books. I’ve known Katy for a while through the RNA and I’m very excited to hear that her first book is The Last Gatekeeper is out now.
I’ve wanted to write stories since the age of 4 when I was reading with my mum and I wondered aloud if you had to pay people to turn your stories into books. Mum explained that, no, they paid you. (Some steps have definitely been removed in that process). I was sold!
My first masterpiece is sadly lost to posterity – a children’s adventure story written in pencil on A4 paper named Ingolly and the Earthlings, heavily influenced by Enid Blyton, in which a group of friends improbably go camping with no adults and meet an alien.
A great many years on and I still want to be a writer when I grow up. Fortunately, advances in modern technology mean I don’t have to wait for a publisher to pick my story, so I can finally see my stories in print.
Hah. I recognise the Enid Blyton fan fic experience. I think my first story involved some children going camping and joining a circus…
Which book have you inherited from generations above? Why is it special?
The utterly glorious Newnes Family Reference Dictionary in whose gilt-edged pages I lost days as a child. The dictionary is the least of it – between its covers you can also find beautiful maps of the continents, helpful guides to the Solar System and the British Commonwealth and (more practically) how to plumb a home central heating system. Most importantly for a budding writer, it has a list of common English Christian names, Characters and Names in Literature, and Notable Names in Classical Mythology. This book fuelled my childhood ambitions and still has pride of place on my reference bookshelf.
That sounds like a very useful book to have around. Which book would you leave to generations below? Why?
The Robber Hotzenplotz, translated from Otfried Preussler’s German by Anthea Bell. This story book is just perfect: a grandma who bakes and is beloved; a pair of heroes in the plucky Kasperl and Seppel; the dastardly Robber Hotzenplotz and the wicked wizard Petrosilius Zackleman who thoroughly deserve their come-uppance; and the good fairy Amaryllis who helps our young heroes save the day (and grandma’s coffee mill which plays “Nuts in May” when turned).
My old copy (actually, it’s my brother’s name in round printing inside the cover) now lives on Offspring’s shelf and I’ve bought new versions for nephews and nieces (thank heavens it’s still in print). I love it so much that when I was studying A-level German I bought a copy in German, which I can now, sadly, only understand because I know the story backwards.
Wow. I’ve never heard of that one. I’ll have to go look it up.
Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Katy. All the best with your new book (and all the other books to come!).