What is the funniest book you’ve ever read?
Last year, I read “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” by Jenny Lawson and I laughed so much I snorted and nearly fell out of bed!
However, I just purchased “Gutsy Girl” by Caroline Paul. What an amazing, funny, warm book. Every ‘gutsy girl’ should get a copy; it’s inspirational.
What is it about writing for children that makes you happy?
I enjoy making children laugh. Children love slapstick comedy and I love to add small dramas to my stories that will make them chuckle.
I think it’s important that we learn to laugh at ourselves so my characters will often exhibit behaviours and then send themselves up. I think it’s important that characters in books are flawed but happy with that. They are great role models for children that way.
Also, a little girl was taken out of school by her parents because she was being bullied so much. She read all my books and something in the quirky, zany stories gave her confidence and strength. That made me happy.
Which author’s or illustrator’s sense of humour do you enjoy? Why?
At the moment, Tabitha Ormiston Smith is a favourite because her sense of humour is so dry you could make martinis with it.
Caroline Paul because she has a lovely, gently way of saying, “Oh dear, it looks like we’ve slipped down a hundred metre crevice while mountain climbing in Alaska… pass the peas and butter, please.”
Dimity McKee and Bad Lord Lionel, was one of my favourite children’s books. It’s rather odd but so well written and I laughed out loud a lot!
What has been your funniest moment as an author / illustrator?
I was giving a talk to grade five students about Astro’s Adventures. I was taking myself very seriously and I was trying to be engaging and clever.
The students started giggling.
I turned around and Rocky, my dog and one of the stars of my books, was lying upside down on the carpet squirming around having a lovely time scratching his back.
All I could hear in my head was the line: “never work with kids or animals”
Give us a one liner to make us smile!
From Speed Bump Charlie’s ABC:
… “You know the type that I mean,
They run and turn a shade of green,
When things come out at night and crawl,
And slither and slop across the floor…”
(This book is all in rhyme. I love the way the words sound in your mouth when you read the line slowly. It’s a tongue in cheek look at ABC books and how not everything in the world is cute and sweet.)
Finish the sentence… “What cracks me up is…”
… when my day turns into a long list of comedy sketches and I think, “This would make a great children’s story.” And it does!
Oh, and seeing someone slip over… that’s always cracks me up.
Which of your own book characters would you want to meet in person? Why?
The characters in my books are based on real dogs and cats, who I spend a lot of time with anyway, but I would love to see my books turned into movies or a virtual reality game where you could go along with them on their adventures.
What is the most comical response you’ve received from a fan?
I don’t have any one incident but when I see people reading my books and they quietly chuckle to themselves, I think that’s really powerful.
Funniest word in the Dictionary:
Poo, no fart, no poo-fart
What writing advice would you NEVER give to aspiring writers?
I wouldn’t tell an aspiring writer that there topic was irrelevant or that they had no idea what they were doing. Another author said this to me recently and it made me think how ‘sad’ some people are. If we authors don’t develop a sense of comradeship and acceptance of others then our craft will be lost in a swill of dishonesty and competitiveness.
If new writers have a passion for what they are doing, then they will be still doing it long after the gloss and the thrills are gone. Then they’ll know it’s right for them.
Thank you for taking on our wacky questions, Susan! You’re a star! 😃
Susan Day is passionate about children’s literature and wants to inspire children to follow their dreams. She created the Astro’s Adventures which is about a group of dogs who have the zaniest adventures. Each book Susan creates encourages and promotes the wonderful art of story-telling with organic illustrations and characters that portray similar character traits that the readers’ pets share. Susan shares her country home with four dogs from the Astro’s Adventures series, Rocky, Stella, Alfie and Digger and Furball, the villainous kitten, as well as, three rescue guinea pigs, a blue budgie, a three-legged spider and a very patient husband.