Melanie Arora published her first children's book this year and the copies seem to be flying of the shelfs. Only a few months in she is now published in Paris and next year her poetic book'A Cat Called Panda' will be published in the United States of America.
What inspired you to write a book for children? Many of my best friends having children...and becoming a godmother to Anna and Rose (who the book is dedicated to). I think it also helped that we had just launched a children'simprint at the publishing house I work at.
How did the idea come about? I was thinking of ideas for books and knew that babies see black and white first, which led me to think of my cat Panda, who is called that because she's black and white. Lots of pictures came intomy head and I sat down and had a coffee and the words just came out... I was quite pleased with what I'd written and my friends' children seemed to enjoy the rhyme so I set about finding an illustrator and persuading my boss to publish it. After a few false starts I had the right illustrator (my friend Charlie Brandon-King) and my boss had said yes. I'm pleased to say it is selling well. The US version will publish in America next autumn too and English-speaking bookshops like Shakespeare & Co in Paris are stocking it.
How long have you lived in Brighton for? Since 1999.
What is your favorite thing about Brighton? It depends on the time of year but I really love May and the all of the arts & culture... from the Fringe and Brighton Festival to The Great Escape. That and the fact that pretty much everything is 10 minutes away at the most!
What is the most fun thing to do when not at work? Play beach volleyball.
Favorite cafe? I have a few favourites but my regular morning coffee comes from Coffee @ 33. The staff are brilliant.
Favorite author and why? Haruki Murakami. I like the slightly surreal style of writing and the way they seem to find you when you're ready to read them.
What book do you have on your nightstand right now? The First Bad Man byMiranda July and also the Lonely Planet guide to Peru as I'm going there next year.
Most inspiring book you've read? That's a really tough question! So I'm going to say The Cat in the Hat.
Will there be a sequel? I'd like to think so... but I'm happy to be focused on book
number one just for now!