Author Interviews

5 Questions for your favourite authors

We pose five questions to authors and illustrators and find out everything from what they love about their work, to what kind of animal they would be, to what they’re working on next! Let us know who you’d like to see us feature next.

Meet author Lori-Ann Preston

Lori-Ann is an award-winning children’s author who lives in East London. She won the Golden Baobab Prize in 2016 for her Early Chapter Book, The Ama-Zings! She holds a BEd Honours degree and is a former child’s educator of 20 years. Lori-Ann is an avid reader who is passionate about improving the literacy of children in South Africa. She has held over 100 free, educative literary workshops around the country, to motivate, encourage and inspire children to develop a love for reading. She is the author of the book series: Thabo, the Space Dude and Trixie, the Mischief-Maker. Follow her here. 

Visiting author – St Marys

1. How did you get the idea for Thabo’s personality?  Is it based on someone you know?

Before becoming a full-time writer, I was a teacher. In my Grade 2 class there were three boys who were the best of friends. They inspired me to create the characters of Thabo, Zen and Kurt.

While I was teaching, I would listen to the children to see how they interacted and how they spoke to each other – this enabled me to get loads of ideas for Thabo’s personality.

2. What did you think of school when you went all those years ago?  🙂 Did you like school?

Yes and no. When I was at school the teachers were way too strict. We’d get yelled at for literally doing nothing. One of the teachers would even smack us if we didn’t do well on our spelling tests. I did enjoy break times though. We played with yoyo’s, jumped roped and were allowed to roller skate in the quad – that was fun! Until this one boy fell and broke his arm. Roller skating was then banned. Oh dear.

3. What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you while you were touring with your books?

I asked the children I was chatting to if they had any questions. I meant questions about writing or publishing or about my books. One boy put up his hand and asked, “Who do you prefer, Ronaldo or Messi?”

4. Do you ever bake while you write? What’s your favourite type of baking?

I don’t bake while I write. Mostly I write early in the morning. I find my mind is the most alert then. I bake a lot of crunchies. They’re my husband’s favourite. No sooner has he gobbled down a batch than he asks for more.

5. If you were a character in a book, how would you write yourself?

I’d give myself long eyelashes and big puppy dog brown eyes. I’d be super cool and definitely give myself the ability to fly. My best friend would be a giraffe, called Spunky.

TWO lucky Book Tree members can win a copy of Thabo, the Space Dude: Logbook 1 and Thabo, the Space Dude: Logbook 2

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Meet author Karen Theunissen

Karen Theunissen grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She studied law at the University of the Witwatersrand and she practices her writing by blogging on a regular basis under the name of Mumziboo. Karen writes to ignite the imagination, creativity and curiosity of young children. Her writing is inspired by her four young daughters and their quest to discover the world around them. 

 Follow her here. 

Karen Theunissen’s book ‘I Have Brown Skin and Curly Hair‘ is a very welcome addition to South Africa’s children’s book scene.

This wonderful book explores diversity, race, heritage and family connections. Karen also offers her 4 tips to teach children about race and diversity. The perfect picture book for children from age 4 – 10.

We sat with Karen to discuss the inspiration for her book and met her four delightful daughters, who even read for us!  Look at the interview on YOU TUBE.











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