Friday, October 13, 2023

Q&A with Emma Pearl




Emma Pearl is the author of the new children's picture book Saving the Sun. It features the same characters from her picture book Mending the Moon. She lives in New Zealand.



Q: Why did you decide to return to your characters Poppa and Luna in your new picture book?


A: I wrote the first draft of this story along with Mending the Moon and a couple of other Luna & Poppa stories back in 2017.


They’ve been through some pretty major transformations since then, but at the time I was totally immersed in the magical world I’d created and I’m very happy that I finally get to share it with readers.


So I guess the answer is, I wasn’t really returning to the characters because both stories were written simultaneously – I was just lucky that they both made it to publication.


Q: What inspired the story you tell in Saving the Sun?

A: It’s not too much of a stretch to see recent global heatwaves echoed in the story of Saving the Sun.


I believe the climate crisis is the defining issue of our era. It’s already having a major impact on the world and yet it’s such a slippery beast – there are solutions available but no will to implement them, no cohesive global effort to secure the future for our children, which is heartbreaking, frustrating, and disempowering.


I wanted to create a situation for Luna where she’s faced with a huge and overwhelming problem and is able to tackle it one step at a time by using logic, imagination and teamwork.


I wanted to highlight the importance of working in harmony with nature (more often than not, the answers to our “problems” can be found in the natural world if you know where to look), the importance of kindness and respect for the natural world around us.


And I wanted to empower a little girl with a big heart to solve this massive problem with the support and guidance of a wise, kind adult. I suppose I wanted that kind of story because that is how I wish it could be in real life.


Q: What do you think Sara Ugolotti’s illustrations add to the book?


A: Sara’s illustrations are absolutely stunning! I couldn’t be happier with how the book looks; it’s incredibly beautiful. The colors, the characters, the landscapes, the creatures are all perfect.


The illustrations don’t just add to the story, they create the world I imagined in my head – only much, much better! I feel so blessed to have worked with Sara on these two books and will be forever grateful that she brought my stories to life in such a wonderful way.


Q: The Kirkus Review of the book called it a “whimsical tale of imagination, human inventiveness, and interspecies cooperation.” What do you think of that description?


A: I’m very happy with that description! It captures the essence of the story perfectly.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m mainly working on novels at the moment. I have a YA novel out on submission, and a couple more completed and waiting in the wings. I’m writing an MG fantasy novel and I have several more YA projects and an adult novel that need developing.


I always have lots of picture book texts on the go too (with two more out on submission). I try to keep myself busy with the writing side of things to distract from the eternal waiting!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a link to information about entering a contest to win copies of Saving the Sun and Mending the Moon. This interview is part of a blog tour in partnership with Page Street Kids.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Emma and all involved with creating your two new books. I am particularly interested in Saving the Sun, but would be grateful for either. I'm glad to see these are picture books. It's so important to have books, songs, art, plays, etc. that teach Environmental Conservation/Stewardship. The message will sink in and children will see they have a voice, and can take action to slow Climate Change. They will also be able to call out those creating pollution, and come up with ideas/solutions of their own as needed. Good luck with subs & stay well and creative. Thanks too for the blog Deborah. Peace, Annie Lynn, AnnieBirdd Music, LLC