Saturday, February 21, 2009

Little Horrors' Blog Tour with Tiffany Mandrake

Hi Tiffany. Many thanks for visiting my blog during your world tour. It's great to have you here and I hope you'll answer a few questions.

Thank you, Robyn. It’s an honour.

1. Now, I'm curious about you, Tiffany, and how you got to be here today. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey which led you to being a guest on my blog.

Oooh, that’s a difficult one, Robyn, because my earlier life is veiled in mystery. (That’s partly because I drank a little too much forget-me-not tea and the effect reversed.) I started writing stories about the Little Horrors I meet at the Hags’ Abademy soon after I adopted Speedwell, my Hairless Sphinx. Speedwell likes his food, and I had to have some way of supporting us. I was persuaded that writing tell-all exposes of the Little Horrors would make my fortune. Along the way, I met Sally Murphy of Aussie Reviews. She offered me a chance at a world tour, so here I am.

2. Little Horrors is a new series with Little Hare. Can you tell me how many books you have written? And, if you're not revealing any secrets, a few details about the books?

So far, I have written four books. The first one is about Flax, a feral fairy who ran into trouble when she attended Miss Kisses’ Academy of Sweetness. There she met Kirsty Breeks, a Scottish water hag. Kirsty helped arrange a better future for Flax. The second one is about Mal the Mischievous mermaid. I learned a lot about merfolk while writing this one. Did you know they can walk on their tail flukes? They call this “tip-tailing”. Then came Nanda the Naughty Gnome. Nanda told a fib to Hag Maggie Nabbie, and that earned her an invitation to try for a Badge of Badness. Nanda said she didn’t want one of those… can you believe it? And the fourth book is about Tikki, a pixie from Pisky Marsh. She got up to some tricks, I can tell you. Lock up your golf balls when Tikki’s around.

3. What is it like working with Little Hare? Are they Little Horrors? Can you give us an insight into this experience?

The Little Hare people are so sweet I’d suspect them of being good fairies if it wasn’t for the gleam in their eyes. They are, however, very eager to get every word exactly right. Each story has to glitter like the quartz Nanda’s Grandpa Clog polishes for the good fairies. Mind you, the tatts in the books aren’t the kinds of things a good fairy would countenance.

4. Who is your favourite character in Little Horrors? And why?

I love the Little Horrors (I have to say that, otherwise Flax would set the dog-fae on me). Actually, I love the critter-fae too. And the hags. If I have to have a favourite, it’s probably the dog-fae. It’s an imp with canine DNA. It looks like a fluffy brown and white dog with fuzzy little wings, and its crankiness makes it a perfect foil for Flax the feral fairy. What’s not to love?

5. I'm interested in how other writers work and create their books. Can we have a peek into the writing life of Tiffany Mandrake?

Every morning, I dress in flowing velvet, brew some herb tea and go to sit in the grounds of my creepy cosy cottage. At some point, one of the critter-fae will come to visit. They say they like my company, but I believe the snacks I provide have something to do with their visits. I pay attention to detail, and I have arranged perfect little habitats for each one when it comes. The dog-fae has a neat little crocheted kennel stuffed with liver treats. For the fox-fae, I made a cosy den lined with black velvet and honey-coated bugs. The gull-fae has a rock with a pool by it, and plenty of chips to eat, and the filly-fae has a green stable with peppermints in the manger. Anyway, when the critter-fae come to visit, I make them feel at home and ask them a few general questions. They tell me all about their fairy breed friends. I take notes. Every afternoon, I retire to my cottage to write up my notes, then have a nap with Speedwell before rising with the moon to dance to the Hags’ bagpipes and gather dodgy herbs. It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to live it.

6. What advice would you give a writer who'd love to be in your shoes and have a book or series published?

Stay out of my shoes. I have somewhat unusual feet, and no one else would fit my footwear. As to books and series, all I can suggest is that they should move to a weird place and wait for weirdness to happen. On the other hand, they could take the difficult route and come up with a killer idea, write a killer proposal, hypnotise the editors and… well, forget I said that. Oh, some people don’t know how to write a proposal? If they go to and click on Workshops, they may learn something to their advantage.

Thanks for including my blog in your first world tour, Tiffany. May this tour be the first of many. I look forward to having you visit again one day. And thanks for answering my questions.

Thank YOU!

Of course I know you're interested in purchasing Flax the Feral Fairy. Who wouldn't be interested? So here is the link:

If you would like to learn more about Flax the Feral Fairy and Tiffany, and I know you do, then make sure you catch this blog tour at:

Saturday 21 February
BJ Cullen – The Writing Life -

Sunday 22 February
Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children -

Monday 23 February
Writing Children’s Books with Robyn Opie -

Tuesday 24 February
Let’s have Words -

Wednesday 25 February
Dee Scribe Writing -

Happy reading and writing,

Robyn Opie


Sally_Odgers said...

My word, that Tiffany is a weird person.

Sally_Odgers said...

My, but that Tiffany Mandrake is a weird person.