INTERVIEW: Sally Morgan

Sally Morgan edited the Waarda series and created the books’ distinctive front covers. Now she has written her own book for the series called The Magic Fair .

Where did the inspiration for The Magic Fair come from?
Our people have teaching stories with a strong moral element involved, so this is where the inspiration came from, only expressed in a more contemporary way. All the authors were concerned that the books in the Waarda series reflect a diversity of writing and storytelling, and for this reason I decided to incorporate a magical element to the story. It was great fun writing this story and imagining the kinds of things you would find at the Fair.

You have designed and painted the cover art for each book in the Waarda series. How do you approach this task?
It actually takes quite a lot of time to design the covers. I always read through the story again and make sure I incorporate some important elements of the story. Then a preliminary drawing is done which is discussed with the Publisher. It’s only after that that the picture is painted.

In your experience, how different is writing for children as compared to writing for adults?
I think writing for children involves the same basic principles as writing for adults: (1) Does the story have an interesting plot? and (2) Will it hold the readers’ interest? Will readers be able to relate to the situation the character find themselves in?

The main difference is how language is used and what the actual content is.

What do you hope that readers will learn from each character?
Readers bring themselves and their own personalities and struggles to a book, so I think what readers learn from each character in the story varies. Probably sometimes it is surprising too, because it may relate to something in their own lives that the writer of the book is unaware of. Either way, I always hope that readers gain something positive from the stories I write.

Books discussed
Waarda series for young readers: The Magic Fair

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