Robert Muchamore, on fine form, in this witty conversation with Tom Lamont, commissioning editor for The Observer, on the subject of celebrity-written children’s books.
It would be a brave and controversial choice, but Muchamore might one day make a rather good Children’s Laureate, you know…
The London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony highlighted children’s literature as a cornerstone of British culture. Kids read my books on the Tokyo metro. I’ve been honked in the street in Lisbon, had the biggest book signing in Sydney since Ian Thorpe and had gendarmes organising fans who were blocking an (admittedly narrow) Parisian street. If I’d sold eight million albums I’d be all over the tabloids, but after eight million kids’ books I can pick 3-for-2s in the Crouch End Waitrose without fear of molestation.
It’s time we recognised our top kids’ authors for the cultural icons that they really are, and rewarded them with their rightful place in the celebrity limelight. I could display my intelligence and wit on Have I Got News For You; Michael Morpurgo could sing with the stars, and Philip Pullman can be the elderly one who isn’t very good on Strictly. Malorie Blackman can host telethons and we can send Jo Rowling off to the jungle to sleep in the dirt and eat locusts.
And then we can stop this silly fuss, because we’ll all be celebrities!