Fresh from the successful launch of the ‘Me Me Me’s’ I was asked if I wanted to put a few questions to its author, fashion model and muse to Alexander McQueen, Annabelle Neilson. Of course, this is an offer that is too good to refuse, so this morning I am treating Fashion-Mommy readers to a lovely glimpse into the life of Annabelle, and inspiration for the fantastic new book series.
1) What made you decide to move into the area of Children’s books?
I don’t feel that I decided, I started writing ‘On The Pond’ and then a couple of other short pieces; it just happened as strange as that might sound, I really never thought I would become an author not least because of my dyslexia but with the ‘Me Me Me’s’ because I was drawing so much from my childhood feelings I felt I had a lot to share. When I created the character ‘Mellow Yellow Me’, who is the friend and I guess you could call him the ‘hand holder’ and ‘voice of calm and understanding’ that I really yearned for in my childhood, then I knew I had a story and character’s with feeling and actions that I want to write and have children and parents read.
- You write about emotions – what emotion do you think would be the hardest to turn into a character for children?
I have written a character called ADD me, I wanted to do this because of being dyslexic and when I was little and I was told this all I knew was it was a very long word that I didn’t understand, the only thing I new was it made me different but not in a good way. So I wanted to write about Attention Deficit Disorder and create a character that was understandable to kids but also really cool in his own way and fun but that also they could identify with and might be able to help too. I know I’m not a Child Psychologist and don’t claim to be, but I wish I’d had a cool fun dyslexic character and a ‘Mellow Yellow’ who ‘had my back’ and could help me understand a little about being ADD. That’s the character I feel I will be most thrilled to put out and I hope help. It’s a strange thing some ‘Me’s’ seem easy to write they can fly out of me and some are hard but I am proud of them all and I hope kids will love them as much as Astro and I do.
- Where does the inspiration come from for your characters – are any based on real people?
Inspiration come from my childhood but yes I based ‘Messy Me’ on my sister, ‘Dreamy Me’ was really about all my godchildren and little cousins, that anything is possible and when you close your eyes you can go anywhere and be anything; I love the freedom of their imaginations. ‘Imaginative Me’ is for Lee Alexander Mcqueen for pretty obvious reasons. Mainly though it is only a small part and then each ‘Me’ really becomes their own character, feeling or action.
- I think the ‘Me Me Me’s’ would make a great children’s TV animated show – who would you most like to voice your characters?
If I was allowed to pick I’d say Rhys Ifans, I think he could play quite a lot of ‘Me’s’ and Samantha Morton, I would like people who know me, I think it’s easier to explain then. However if he was still here I would of love either Peter sellers, Dudley Moore and Peter Cooke.
- You have had the most incredible life filled with amazing achievements – what do you think is your crowning achievement – what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my history, friendship and love I shared with Lee McQueen but I created the ‘Me Me Me’s’ at a time in my life when I felt that I had lost everything that was important to me, so they brought me back to life in a way and that I am so very proud of and very grateful for.
Angry Me – A review.
If you ask me why I think Angry Me is such a good book, I can give you a very simple answer – it really speaks to young children. When we are young, little things seem so important, and things that, as an adult, we are able to shrug off, raise our emotions as young children. Annabelle has totally recognised that point in Angry Me. Angry Me loses his special red bike and is unable to deal with this in any way over than to be cross, angry and violent;-
When Angry Me gets hot and cross,
When things go wrong, and stuff gets lost,
He sometimes stands and goes all stiff,
He’ll put his arms out, and his fists.
The use of simple language and rhyming patterns will really appeal to young readers, and are great if you are extending your child’s reading skills by looking for rhyming and spelling patterns. The introduction of Mellow Yellow is also a lovely touch, giving tips on how emotions can be controlled, nd how sharing a problem can lead to it being solved.
I think this is a lovely book to have around, especially if you have a child who is prone to anger issues or temper tantrums – they will clearly identify with the Angry Me, and how he is feeling in the story. The illustrations are great fun too. I’m really looking forward to meeting the other characters in the series.
You can purchase Angry Me from Amazon by clicking here.