Q&A with Sophie Anderson

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Sophie Anderson grew up with stories in her blood, from her mother, who is a writer, to her Prussian grandmother, whose own storytelling inspired her debut novel The House with Chicken Legs.

Born in Swansea but now living in the Lake District with her family, Sophie loves walking, canoeing and daydreaming. Her dream is to create stories that help children to explore the world and fall in love with its beautiful diversity.

Sophie’s latest book The Girl Who Speaks Bear comes out this month so we thought it was the perfect time to find out more about her and this new story…

Describe Yanka – the main character in The Girl Who Speaks Bear – in three words or phrases.

Big. Strong. Lost.

What is your favourite scene in The Girl Who Speaks Bear, and why?

It’s so hard to choose! I love the magic of Anatoly telling a story by firelight. But I also love the excitement of Mousetrap the weasel riding on the back of an owl. And also the first terrifying glimpse of Smey the Fire Dragon!

What was your favourite book as a child?

The wonderful Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson.

What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you?

Good question! Probably becoming a published author!

Who (or what) makes you laugh?

My husband and our four children. When they laugh, I laugh!

If you could be a famous book character, who would it be?

I’d like to say Snufkin from the Moomins books, but I’m probably more like Moominmamma in reality.

Who do you most like to share a story with?

My children. But also all children – I love author visits to schools!

Why do you think sharing stories is so important?

It shows us we are not alone – that we are all connected by shared hopes, dreams and fears.

If you could share one story for 10 minutes, which one would you pick?

Another excellent question! I think my choice would change from day to day. Today I’d choose The Fillijonk Who Believed in Disasters, which can be found in Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson.