Children’s Author Hazel Edwards : The Writer’s Studio

Hazel Edwards is the ‘authorpreneurial’ (a term she coined) creator of more than 200 books such as There’s a Hippopotamus on the Roof Eating Cake and The Business of Writing For Young People. She is a forward thinker with a dynamic web presence and personality. Here is a glimpse of her writing space and process.

Where did you write your latest book? How important to you is the space in which you write?
Most recently I’ve been working with illustrator-graphic designer Jane Connory and she lives in the next suburb, so we alternate studios or use Skype. Possibly the most extreme place in which I’ve written was an Antarctic polar ship ‘The Polar Bird’ when we were beset in the polar ice during an expedition to Casey Station in Antarctica. Usually I work in my study at home, but my lap top is well travelled. For my ‘Frequent Flyer Twins’ mystery e-books, I wrote a lot in airports. For the Project Spy Kids series, I visited a greyhound race.

Do you transform your space in any way for each book? Do you ‘get into character’ at all?

Sometimes I use maps or setting photos like Darwin for the ‘Outback Ferals’ YA novel. When I was writing ‘Antarctic Closeup’ about John Close and his telescope from the Mawson 1911-12 expedition, I had his face as my screensaver for months, as inspiration. Jane Connory made me a Frequent Flyer Twins t shirt with the logo and a coffee cup!

Hazel Edwards in her recently tidied office.

Do you keep regular writing hours? If not, when do you write?
I’m a fairly self-disciplined writer. I work more than 9-5pm, but I travel to research too.That’s the fun bit.

The making of the short film There’s a Hippopotamus On Our Roof Eating Cake based on Hazel Edwards’ 1980
picture book.

Do you have a morning ritual?
Coffee. And a swim or walk late afternoon for plotting. Authors need to exercise more than their imaginations.

For more writer’s spaces, check out The Guardian’s excellent ‘Writers’ Rooms‘ series or more children’s authors in ‘The Writer’s Studio‘.


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