Author Interview with Imogen Paige
Today's interview covers a difficult topic - but a very important one. Imogen Paige's new book provides a relatable story to give hope to children experiencing child abuse at home. Discover more in our interview.
Tell us about your book?
Lancelottie and the Three Scares is a modern-day, Arthurian picture book. It follows the story of Lancelottie – a fearless knight who loves school, is close to her pet frog Grail, and always gets her chores done. Her mother, the Queen, is never seen, and 'the Baron' should be avoided at all costs. Whenever the Baron comes home from his daily quests, Lottie runs up to her room until he falls asleep, and sometimes there’s very little to eat in her home. Once Lottie realises this is not okay, she finds the courage to come forwards and speak up about her home life to a teacher. Although her life is still difficult afterwards and not everyone understands, this results in Lottie meeting a child therapist/social worker named Nim, who supports Lottie to get her and her mother away from the Baron.
Why did you want to write this story?
Lancelottie and the Three Scares is a children's verse picture book aimed at children from abusive and neglectful households. By following the story of Lottie, children from age 5 and above will learn that, while it is scary, speaking up about what is happening at home can lead to much needed support. The aim of the book is to promote open dialogue between these children and the adults who can help them. The intent is to empower children to disclose, as well as to build understanding from caregivers and peers who may not know what it is like to come from an unsafe home environment.
What's been the best reaction from a reader so far?
I have had some wonderful feedback from some children’s charities so far who are going to be using the book in Bibliotherapy with their child clients.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I was inspired to write this story because of the many children who come from abusive or neglectful households and are sadly misunderstood. There appears to be many books available for children to help them recognise abuse in the form of stranger danger, which is of course fantastic, but for those who aren’t already in loving homes this can be confusing and hinder them getting the help they need. I hope Lancelottie and the Three Scares will help children to understand that what is happening to them at home is not okay, and that they will find support if they come forward. For the majority of children, I hope this book will teach them about other dangers and build understanding and empathy for child survivors.
What's the most fun part of being an author?
I love mapping out the illustrations once I have the story finished. It is lovely knowing that I can create something colourful and unique that children will really connect with and see themselves in.
What's your tip for parents to encourage reading?
The best way I have found getting little ones reading is to make it a bigger event in the home or classroom – plan a trip to the library, or create a designated space or ‘fort’ by reading under the covers. It builds excitement so they look forward to reading more and more – especially if someone is reading the book aloud to them and engaging in all the noises and voices from the book!
What's your favourite book of all time?
My favourite children’s book has to be Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne. They are timeless classics with wonderful morals and I love the little drawings of Pooh bear and his friends.
Imogen Paige is the creator of enriching and sympathetic children’s books for child survivors. Her first book, Lancelottie and the Three Scares, is a children's verse picture book aimed at children from abusive and neglectful households. By following the story of Lottie, children from age 3 and above will learn that, while it is scary, speaking up about what is happening at home can lead to much needed support. The aim of the book is to promote open dialogue between these children and the adults who can help them. Imogen’s books to empower children and promote understanding from caregivers and peers.
Where to Next?
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