A quick catch up with Candy Gourlay…

By Saskia Calliste

Candy Gourlay, the author of Bone Talk and Is it a Mermaid?, joins us for this year’s festival, hoorah! Candy, originally from the Philippines, is a dab hand at writing for different cultures and inviting the reader on a fascinating journey that grips and delights you. Candy is the BookTrust’s writer in residence and she’s coming to Barnes to share her experiences and reveal all about the mysterious dugong, a creature who might just be a mermaid – so it’s definitely not to be missed.

Candy Gourlay

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to write books for children. I also wanted to become an actor except I only wanted to play the boy roles. And a cartoonist.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

I would just give myself a pat on the back and a wink and say, you’re doing great!

What does being the ‘BookTrust’s Writer in Residence’ mean to you?

I feel honoured and responsible and a little bit scared because there’s so much I want to say and do!

Can you share one highlight from your time at BookTrust so far?

I have gotten together with some cool artists from Bontoc, the setting of my book, Bone Talk. We are developing an event for Filipino children living in London using Bontoc music and dance to tell stories. I am so grateful to BookTrust for enabling and supporting this event!

Which book would you take with you on a desert island?

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean. I never tire of re-reading it. May I take two picture books? Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love and Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith. I could gaze at those books forever.

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