Some of the things Polly likes include: the colour yellow, cheesy puff crisps, the seaside on a cold day, reaching the top of a mountain, patting ponies, dark chocolate brownies, bedtime, bonfires, bluebell woods, crazy golf, fizzy cola bottles, stripy socks, sledging, reading aloud, roses, hot baths, feeding ducks, Scrabble, a good stick, mud pies, free wheeling on a bicycle and pudding.
Mango & Bambang is her first series of books for children.
Author's Comment: Q. Do you have any peculiar writing rituals or habits?
I'm not sure I do have any writing rituals - beyond the necessity of a cup of Earl Grey tea in the right mug beside me. I do a lot of walking in the local woods if I get stuck. I also have a pebble on my desk with the word 'Concentrate' written on it that I stare at if I'm getting distracted by Twitter or thinking about biscuits.
Q. What advice would you offer to aspiring writers/illustrators?
I think I'm too new to this to be qualified to offer advice. My writing began with reading so I think it's obviously essential to read widely and currently- especially if you're writing for children. I also think you have to write to please yourself. You have to feel the emotion first. My internal critical voice is annoyingly astute about whether what I've written is worthwhile; even when I'd rather it wasn't!
Q. What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?
I often buy books to give as birthday presents for my children's friends. I think the last one was the new edition of Catherine Storr's 'Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf'- a book I loved as a child and still love now. My love might have had something to do with sharing a name with its heroine but I don't think you have to be a Polly to enjoy it.
Q. How did the idea of Mango and Bambang come about?
Mango and Bambang came about through my friendship with Clara and a conversation over buns. Buns fuel all the best ideas in my life. Clara suggested I write a book for her to illustrate. I, half-jokingly, suggested a tapir deserved its story told. Shortly afterwards she sent me the first sketch of Mango and Bambang and- WHAMMO!- I knew exactly what I wanted to write about them and couldn't wait to start. I suppose it was the right project for both of us at the right time, but there was definitely a bit of stardust magic in those buns I think.