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Author Q&A

Marita Phillips, explain who you are, your background and why you wanted to be an author…
I started as a mime artist and founded and ran a school of mime in London. I have written lyrics for many years which have been recorded by Art Garfunkel, Demis Roussos and Peter Skellern amongst others. I have also written two children’s musicals: ‘BUZZ – the Story of Glorybee’ and ‘The Dream Dealer’ (www.thedreamdealer.com) which was awarded a sell-out logo at The Edinburgh Festival and has been performed in schools all over the place, even in Japan and Australia.

What is the story about?
The story is about a boy’s search for his mother, it is about the pressures of the playground and it is about a charismatic stranger who turns up at the school selling ice dreams but who is on his own dark mission.

Who will it appeal to?
Girls and boys enjoy it – even children who normally don’t like reading seem to get hooked on the story. Adults seem to like it too because there are many layers beyond the surface story – layers that children probably understand instinctively.

What is your inspiration for The Dream Dealer?
There are many children’s authors I admire but I didn’t specifically think of any of them when I wrote The Dream Dealer. My inspiration comes from the ideas behind the story – whether they are about man’s role on the planet, or the good and harm humans do to each other – be they children or adults.

When did you first start writing?
I recently found three or four books I wrote when I was about nine. So I suppose I was always writing something!

Why do you write?
I write because I have an idea that I want to explore.

Why did you decide to write a children’s book?
A writer of children’s theatre encouraged me to write this book after he had seen The Dream Dealer musical. He thought it was an original and good idea.

What is next for The Dream Dealer?
Next for The Dream Dealer is to let people know about it. It was great to have a big launch at Waterstones and to have them supporting the book but that has to be just the beginning. Getting it out there takes time and energy but it is also rewarding.

What is next for you as an author?
I have lots of song lyrics and an opera libretto on the go and another idea for a young person’s novel!

Why did you decide to self-publish?
Understandably publishers don’t want one-off books. The advantage of self-publishing is the control you have over the book’s appearance, what price you choose to sell it for and speed – conventional publishing takes forever. There are also no guarantees your book will be marketed.