Following the success of her first book last year Princess Iwant and The Red Bike, Lambourn author Rita Pooles has a new book out now Princess Iwant Goes on Holiday. Alex MacKinney asked her what made her want to write children’s books and were the children’s books based on someone she knows.
I grew up as an only child in the country I had to mostly entertain myself and I don’t think we had TV until I was about 9 years old. So I fell in love with books with lots of reading, daydreaming, making up stories and drawing. Books became a passport to a wider world. My main memory of my first day at primary school was the reading corner with all the books on the shelves – paradise for me.
The children that have been part of my life over the years loved books too and I gained huge pleasure from reading to them and seeing the joy they gained from particularly bedtime stories. However, it was only about 15 years ago that I started writing for pleasure again in the form of short poems – it started when I travelled for business, I would send my grand-daughter a postcard with a poem on the back which I thought she would enjoy.
I just enjoyed writing simple poems and began to realise that I wanted to extend this and write a children’s book for pleasure. I had the perfect subject matter, my inspiration was my God daughter Zoe, who we nicknamed Princess Iwant as a small child. She is now 26 and still the same but the objects of her desires have grown eg I want a new car, I want my own house etc. She would continually want different things and the word no didn’t appear to register with her. She would relentlessly wear everyone down with her requests and quickly she gained the nickname of which she is still known as today.
I started forming the words to Princess Iwant and the Red Bike before I retired from my career in HR three years ago. My focus became to actually write the book, leave work and become an children’s author. It took a few years to get it right and I realised the words were no good without great pictures. I drew out the pictures I wanted and luckily found an illustrator who brought them to life. I am just about to launch the second book Princess Iwant Goes on Holiday and am really pleased with how it looks and have already received great feedback from some of the children I have tested it on!