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LITERARY LINCOLNSHIRE

Making a big splash! A H Benjamin is a children’s author based in Cleethorpes. His new book ‘The Big Splash’ is a wonderful way to get kids interested in reading and seems relevant to our issue on all things coastal. With thirty titles to his name, his books have sold worldwide with over twenty

sea or the coast? I love the sea and I’m lucky to live in

them, they won’t like it; be their friend,

translations including Chinese, Korean,

Cleethorpes. Most of the ideas I have

see everything from their perspective…

Turkish and Arabic.

come to me when I’m walking. Quite

And above all, be honest.

Some of his work has also been adapted for radio, television and theatre. We sit down with him on a sunny day at the seafront and ask him all about his

often I take a stroll along the beach or the promenade for inspiration. Little ideas

With ‘The Big Splash’ do you think

pop into my head just like dream

parents will read it with their children

bubbles!

or do you think children will take a look through in their own time?

writing. What other authors do you admire, How did you get into writing books for children, is it something you’ve always done?

both children’s and adults? My favourite children’s author is without a doubt Roald Dahl. In my

The Big Splash is quite a simple story really. It has familiar words, rhythm and repetitions and that’ll make it easy to follow. I think after children have heard

opinion he has no equal. He’s simply a

the story a few times they will remember

genius, the true children’s writer! My

most of it and will want to read it

- made up on the spot! It was fun for

favourite book of his is James and the

themselves.

both of us. Then I decided to write the

Giant Peach.

When my eldest daughter was about three I started telling her bedtime stories

stories and that became a hobby. After a

I’m not sure I have a favourite

few years I tried my luck with magazine

author for adults

and annual publishers and I was

but if I had to pick

surprised how successful I was. Then in

one it would be John

1987 I had my first picture book, The

Steinbeck. He’s a

King Bird, published by Andersen Press.

master storyteller.

What a joy! What do you think What inspires you to create these

makes a good story

fantastic stories?

for children and do

To me an inspiration can be anything:

you have any tips for

a phrase, an action, a situation, a mental

those interested in

picture… Anything like that can trigger

writing themselves?

an idea for a story. However, most of the

A story, be it for

time I rely on my lively imagination. I

children or adults, must have

daydream. I make up things in my mind.

the proper ingredients: an

I create a problem and I try to solve it.

interesting storyline, a solid

That’s how a story is born.

plot, credible characters and a strong narrative. If you wish

Being based on the Lincolnshire coast,

to write for children respect

would you say you are inspired by the

them first; don’t preach to LINCOLNSHIRE TODAY

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The Big Splash_Lincolnshire Today