Caryl Hart is the award-winning author of fantastic picture books like Supermarket Zoo and Don’t Dip Your Chips in Your Drink, Kate!
As well as being a full time children`s writer, Caryl also runs creative workshops with local schools. She lives on the top of a windy hill in the Peak District with her guitar-playing husband, two cheeky daughters, one extremely fluffy black cat, a goldfish, four hens and an invisible dog called Paddy. She spends her spare time digging her allotment and organising community projects, and going for long walks, especially if they end up at a cafe. Her favourite place is the local library because it`s warm and full of books.
Caryl Hart won the Sheffield and Rotherham Children’s Book Awards for Don’t Dip Your Chips in Your Drink, Kate!.
Q & A with Caryl Hart
How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
Outdoor girl, who loves kids, walks, cafes, writing
What is your motto or maxim?
Be careful what you wish for… you might just get it.
How would you describe perfect happiness?
For me, perfect happiness is a long country walk with my family, followed by a big English breakfast by the fire in a cafe. Other things that make me happy are long lie-ins and the smell of my children’s hair.
What’s your greatest fear?
I hate skeletons!
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
Here, only warmer
With whom in history do you most identify?
I’m not very good at history
What are your most overused words or phrases?
Come on, Hurry up, Eat properly, Who left the bathroom light on. Stuff like that!
If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
I’d love to be a world famous pianist
What is your greatest achievement?
Dealing with depression and coming out the other side a better and happier person
What’s your greatest flaw?
Eating too many cakes and chocolate
What’s your best quality?
I have a good imagination and lots of ideas
If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
I’d be me, but younger!
What trait is most noticeable about you?
My nose is always red
Who is your favorite fictional hero?
At the moment I have to say Edward Cullen!
Who is your favorite fictional villain?
I don’t like baddies
If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
I’d like to have a cup of tea with Charles Darwin, but I probably wouldn’t know what to say to him!
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Someone walking really slowly in front of me and not being able to get past
What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
reading, sleeping or both
What’s your fantasy profession?
Being a children’s author – oh look at that – I am one!
What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
Kindness, understanding, empathy
If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Baked potatoes with cheese and coleslaw
On Books and Writing
Who are your favorite authors?
Julia Donaldson, Martin Waddell, Roald Dahl, Zadie Smith, Alexander McCall Smith, Frank McCourt, Arundhati Roy, Bob Graham, Laura Esquivel, Joanne Harris, Bill Bryson, Tove Jansson, Daphne DuMaurier, David Almond, Khaled Hosseini, and lots more!
What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell, Let’s Get a Pup by Bob Graham, Chocolat by Joanne Harris, Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Is there a book you love to reread?
Farmer Duck. I know if off by heart
Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
Listen to criticism and learn from it.
What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
I love your book! (Sorry, but its true!)
How did you come to write Supermarket Zoo?
One day in the supermarket, I got to thinking that shopping with my children would be so much more fun if there were penguins lined up in the cool cabinet instead of milk bottles. What if the supermarket was full of animals instead of boring old boxes of cereals and tins of tomatoes? I started writing the story in June, 2005, which seems like an awfully long time ago now! To see all my ideas brought to life by Ed Eaves’ amazing illustrations is such a thrill – I only wish our local co-op was quite as exciting!