Monday, July 31, 2017

INTERVIEW WITH ANNABELLE FISHER, AUTHOR OF PIXIE PIPER AND THE MATTER OF THE BATTER




Tell us a bit about the idea / inspiration / Mother Goose research.
Before fifth grader, Pixie Piper finds out that she’s a descendant of Mother Goose, she understands that her mother is sort of an amateur scholar on the subject. Mrs. Piper has shelves full of Mother Goose books, and in the course of the story, Pixie will come to understand why.
My mother seems to have had a special connection to Mother Goose as well. She’s the real inspiration for my Pixie Piper books. Although she spent her first seven years in an orphanage, she somehow knew how important it was to read babies and young children. I can still remember the Little Golden Book of Mother Goose Rhymes she’d purchased for me in the supermarket. And I’m pretty sure it was because my mom recited nursery rhymes to me so often, that I became a rhymer before I could write.
The great Mother Goose scholar, Iona Opie says the rhymes are “mysterious fragments from our shared memory: long-ago laughter of little meaning and echoes of ancient spells...”  I agree!  I believe every woman who ever made up a tune or a rhyme for her child is a bit of a Mother Goose.  
Once I discovered that no single person was the ‘mother of nursery rhymes’, I was free to create my own history. Yet the task was daunting. I wanted to do the character of Mother Goose justice – to honor her. Gradually, she began to live in my imagination. I gave her rhymes the power to grant wishes and her hands the ability to bake marvelous cakes. After Mother Goose stumbled into combining her rhymes with cakes, the demand for them became insatiable. She actually had to go into hiding to escape from the most powerful and greedy people who wanted her to bake wishing cakes solely for them.

Summer Snowball (nonedible) - Recipe Included
Where / how did you come up with "magical baking"? Are you a foodie? Do you cook a lot with your kids?

In book two, Pixie Piper and the Matter of the Batter, Pixie spends the summer at Golden Goose Farm, where the Goose Ladies (descendants of Mother Goose) teach her the secrets of magical baking.  It was a lot of fun to invent the cakes, the magical baking instruments, the rhymes that went into them, and those mysterious batter ‘spirits’. Then my editor and I both thought of having an appendix of recipes at the back of the book. It sounded great, except for one thing—I’d never been much of a baker! At dinners with friends, I was happy to provide an hors d’oeuvre or a side dish, but never a dessert.
Luckily though, I have friends who are bakers. I organized a virtual test kitchen and asked them to create child-friendly recipes for the cakes I’d imagined. They came up with no-bake snickerdoodle cupcakes, flying biscuits, a super-chocolatey birthday wishing cake, and a tricky reversing cake to foil a villain. I created the rhymes to go with them.

Okay, really--the toilet museum. You gotta tell us about that.

Poor Pixie! I really did load her up with a lot of burdens. As a child, I had a friend who lived across the street from a junkyard. And the apartment I lived in faced the alley with its row of trashcans and yowling cats. So, I have to admit the idea of a toilet museum came pretty easily. And once I’d thought of it, I checked the Internet to see if any such thing existed. To my delight, I found the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi, India, which explores the history of hygiene and sanitation.  After viewing its site and doing some further research, I created my own version, the Winged Bowl Museum of Rare, Historical, and Unique Toilets. The King Louis throne toilet at Winged Bowl is based on one owned by King Louis XIV of France.

~
Catch up with Annabelle Fisher and grab your own copy of PIXIE PIPER!


No comments:

Post a Comment