Children Are Always Braver Than You Know: Meet Santa Montefiore
"Everything I have experienced in my life goes into a great big pot out of which I draw ideas for stories...."
8 January 2020
With FOUR tickets up for grabs to Santa Montefiore and Kate Hindley's "The Royal Rabbits of London" at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
Join bestselling writer Santa Montefiore on an interactive event for the whole family at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Dubai's most anticipated celebration of literature and art from February 4 to 9, 2020.
Montefiore is set to introduce her children's book, The Royal Rabbits of London, a series is filled to the brim with the adventures of a courageous little rabbit.
Accompanied by the book's illustrator, Kate Hindley, kids and mums are invited to hop over for an exciting afternoon at the InterContinential Dubai Festival City.
The series shows that even the smallest character can be a hero, as leading-rabbit Shylo returns home to the countryside for a rest from working with the Royal Rabbits of London. However, instead of rest, he discovers that a sinister old rabbit has taken over the forest with his growing number of followers, all searching for a legendary artifact. Shylo has to stop him to save his home – and the world – and enlists his Royal Rabbits friends to help.
A perfect book and event for little ones who must remember: you are always braver than you know!
Ahead of Emirates LitFest, ExpatWoman had a chat with Montefiore on the inspiration behind The Royal Rabbits of London, what encouraged her to publish children's literature, and more...
How to win FOUR tickets to the Royal Rabbits of London at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
To enter the competition, simply fill in your details below.
Winners will be selected at random and will be informed by email.
Do any of your works come from childhood stories?
"I’m sure that some elements of the Royal Rabbits of London have been influenced by stories I read in childhood. I adored Wind in the Willows, Winnie the Pooh, Little Grey Rabbit stories as well as Beatrix Potter and Watership Down.
Everything I have experienced in my life goes into a great big pot out of which I draw ideas for stories. But the idea for the books came from our son Sasha.
When he was six he had trouble sleeping one night. So, I asked him to think of something he loved.
He replied ‘rabbits’.
‘Where do they live?’ I enquired.
‘Beneath Buckingham Palace,’ he answered.
I think our son was more influential than any childhood story I’d read!"
How and when did the path of becoming a children’s author attract you?
"I have written 20 adult novels in the last twenty years, so most people know me as a writer of women’s fiction. However, when I was young I wrote children’s stories because I have always written for myself and, at that young age, those were the sort of stories I liked to read.
You could say that I have gone full circle, returning to where I started off all those years ago. But to answer your question directly, it was only after our son came up with the idea that I decided to try writing a children’s book. I joined forces with my husband and, over the next 6 years, wrote the first Royal Rabbit tale."
What is your take on the importance of a good book cover and title?
"The cover of a book is the window into the story. It’s enormously important to give the reader a taste of what’s inside.
The title has to grab the reader’s attention and also let them know what the book’s about.
If the author is enormously famous, like JK Rowling, I’m sure a good title and sumptuous cover are irrelevant as fans will buy the book anyway, but for the rest of us, cover and title are very important."
What has been your most favourite review or comment of your work so far?
"My favourite reviews are from children, because they are so honest and direct and they are our readers. They tell us what they have enjoyed about the stories, but mostly they love a certain character best.
Sometimes, they give us ideas for future books. One reader claimed to love Shylo more than Harry Potter! That was adorable!"
Who are you most keen on meeting at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature?
"I’m very excited about coming to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, but I haven’t looked up who else is going yet.
My husband went some years ago and had a great time and met some really fascinating authors. It will be a thrilling surprise."
Where children can meet the Royal Rabbits of London at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
- Workshop: Santa Montefiore and Kate Hindley: The Royal Rabbits of London (Event no. 8)
- Date: Thursday, February 6, 2020
- Time: 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
- Location: Al Ras 3, InterContinental, Dubai Festival City
- Price: AED 39 / AED 35.10 for Foundation Friends
- Buy your tickets.