Over the summer, Mike and I read the first Mabel Jones book, The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones. We both enjoyed it quite a bit and were excited to see the new one come out this week. Because of our interest, I wanted to bring you an interview with the creator, Will Mabbitt.
Can you give us the “elevator pitch” for both books for any readers who might not know what they are about?
In The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones Mabel is kidnapped from her bedroom by animal pirates and taken to a future without humans. In Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City Mabel’s sister is taken. Mabel has to rescue her and she starts to wonder… “What happened to all the humans?”
Were there books you read as a kid that might have influenced the character of Mabel?
I think I’ve been influenced by a whole load of books. Roald Dahl wrote some really great leads, Matilda and Sophie spring to mind, but also Danny (champion of the world). I especially like Sophie because she isn’t blessed with any special power – she’s just a regular kid. Also Jim Hawkins from RL Stevenson’s Treasure Island. I’m pretty sure these books have influenced thousands of over writers too.
I laughed out loud several times reading the first book. Do you ever make yourself laugh when you are writing? Can you give an example of a scene that made you laugh?
It’s an unappealing habit but I laugh all time when I’m writing Mabel Jones. It’s mainly because I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been, and that I’m getting paid to make things up. One day I think I’lll be found out and my editor Ben will phone me up and say: “Hang on! We’ve realized you’re not a proper writer. Can we have our money back?” I hope he never does though.
What have you read recently that you would recommend?
I loved The Imaginary by AF Harold and Emily Gravitt. It’s a wonderful story and beautifully illustrated too. If I wrote a book that good I think I would explode.
Both Mabel Jones books are available anywhere books are sold!