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An Interview with Sannel Larson: Melvin...bad, bad kitten!

Source: Amazon

Interview by Bonnie Diczhazy

What started your interest in writing Children's books?

I loved to read as a child. I remember the joy and excitement I felt each time I opened the cover of a new book, knowing a world of imagination and new friends would take over my mind until the last page was read. At a certain age I realized that stories and illustrations did not just happen but were actually written and illustrated by real people, that's when the dream of being one of those people started. By the time I could write, I used to write stories of my own. However, due to circumstances, called life, my childhood dream came true very late in life.

How did you come up with the title?

The titles to my books always seems to come easily to me. Well at least they have so far.

Having had both playful kittens and puppies in the house, I know what kind of trouble their mischievous acts can lead them to. How many times have I not myself shouted;

“Bad, bad kitten or bad, bad puppy

now look at what you have done!

Such a mess you have made

just to play and to have fun!”

So the title for my book about Melvin, a very naughty and mischievous kitten, came quite naturally.

How do you come up with ideas for your characters?

I never plan my stories or my characters. They kind of take shape on my drawing pad or as soon as I start to write. My imagination has always worked better if nothing is planned. I don't say this is the right way but it works for me.

What books have most influenced your life?

Stories that we read in childhood stay with us forever. Elsa Beskow's and Astrid Lindgren's fairy tales with their wonderful illustrations have in some way shaped my life with their imaginative work. I loved to read their stories as a child and I could sit for hours looking at the whimsical and enchanting drawings. I truly believe those two Swedish authors triggered my big imagination and the love I have myself to illustrate and write for children.

“The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” by Selma Lagerlöf is a wonderful, funny and imaginative story.

I read this classic as a very young girl and fell in love with it. This fairy tale teaches us the important lessons about protecting the earth and living creatures.

Later in life I read “A Piece of Cake” by Cupcake Brown. It may not be the most well written book, but the story of Cupcake Brown is truly fantastic and inspiring. It's an amazing story that teaches us all that we can do better with our lives if we set our mind and heart to it. Truly a motivational read!

Not long ago a dear friend of mine gave me “Tales of a Wounded Healer” by Mariah Fenton Gladys. It's an inspirational read by a remarkable woman, sharing powerful insights into healing and wholeness.

What are your current projects?

Currently, I'm doing the illustrations for my next children's book. The story is about angels and will once again be narrated in silly rhyme and rhythm with lots of whimsical drawings to look at. It will be a fun book to read out loud to the little ones. Reading poetry aloud to a child is such an enriching experience and also a very important way of connecting with them. By simply reading poetry to children we help them to understand phonemic awareness that is crucial for the child to avoid later learning problems and make reading and writing easier for them.

I am also working on my second poetry book. Just like my first poetry book, “Scent of a Haiga” I'll combine my poetry with my love for photography.

What was the hardest part of writing?

Those first few words. Once I get those down, the rest just seems to fall into place.

Distractions are also a big issue. Distractions are always getting in the way of my writing.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read and write as much as you can, and write about what you love and know well.

 Last updated on September 7, 2014

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Guestbook 15 comments

tonyleather 8 months ago

Interesting to hear what another writer has to say. Thanks!

New-Rich 8 months ago

This is great...I think writing children's books pushes your creativity to the max!! So many shapes, sizes and colors to incorporate whereas just writing a story that is cleverly worded is pretty direct...less visual. Traditional books is typically illustration free and...well...that's not really

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scribenet lm 8 months ago

Great Lens on a subject dear to my heart...loved the Illustration and the material! :)

RPWag profile image

RPWag 8 months ago

Nice lens, It's encouraging to see someone becoming successful. When you mentioned your influences I laughed, my influences really date me! Uncle Wiggley, for example. I have some hopes of writing a childrens book.

andymoore212 8 months ago

interesting stuff

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Susan Zutautas 8 months ago from Ontario, Canada Level 5 Commenter

Hi Sannel! So happy to see that Bonnie has interviewed you here on Squidoo. Enjoyed reading your interview very much and congrats on all of your success my dear friend!

tim-mitchell-754703 8 months ago

Wonderful article / lens of a new and upcoming children's author. I know Sannel's life in Sweden offers many opportunities with authoring children's books. Both this article sharing an author of many shared by Bonnie and the author are inspirational to us writers and authors. Thank you Bonnie for bringing hope of publishing to us all . . . near and close or far and wide.

maria-jordan-54 8 months ago

Lovely to see the talented and inspiring Sannel Larson featured in this informative interview. I am the proud owner of both "Melvin...Bad, bad Kitten" and have given it also to several little ones who have absolutely loved it. I have recently gotten a copy of "Bea's Busy Day" and know it will also be a wonderful gift for my great niece and nephew.

SannelLarson 8 months ago

Thank you Bonnie for doing such a great job with this interview and also sharing my books. Thank you everyone for taking the time to leave a comment. I truly appreciate it!

mckbirdbks 8 months ago

Nice to find such a talented author and illustrator featured here.

Squidoo_Authors 8 months ago

@SannelLarson: You're very welcome! It was a pleasure.

susan-sproull-3 8 months ago

I have read both Melvin bad bad kitten and Scent of Haiga by this wonderful author. Whether you are looking for a children's book or to read beautiful poetry, I am sure you will enjoy Sannel Larson's writings as much as I did.

River_Rose 8 months ago

I like this page! Interesting and thought provoking about writing for children.... hmmmm... =)

Ruthi 8 months ago

Oh, I do enjoy learning we have another author of books for kids right here on Squidoo! Thanks, Bonnie, and great to greet you, Sannel Larson!

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ecogranny 5 months ago from San Francisco Level 7 Commenter

Fun books! Thank you for introducing me to this children's author. I'm always on the lookout for new books for the grandchildren, and our youngest toddler would enjoy these.

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