Francesca Simon at Emirates Festival of Literature

Tash with Francesca Simon
Tash with Francesca Simon
One of Little Diva’s favourite obsession over a long period was a series of books done by Francesca Simon, in particular her excitement over the character Horrid Henry. She is currently at the Emirates Festival of Literature and we both got to interview her about her books, her writing methods and her future plans.
She is best known as the author of the internationally bestselling Horrid Henry books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, have been translated into 27 languages, and have been adapted for television by CITV. She attributes the success of Horrid Henry to his “outlaw” character and children enjoying reading about “a child who always acts on impulse and never worries about the consequences.”

Francesca told us her inspirations came from reading comic books as a child. She was born in the United States and attended both Yale and Oxford universities, studying medieval history and literature. For ten years she worked as a freelance journalist. She now writes full-time and has written more than 50 books for children of different ages. Tash asked her about her day as a writer and she tells us that she writes about 500 words a day and gets inspiration from everywhere and in particular from funny stories and Roald Dahl.

Her latest books for older readers, The Sleeping Army and The Lost Gods, depict a world in which the Norse gods are still very much active, pursuing celebrity in modern Britain while still finding time to battle frost giants. This new series has been praised by Eoin Colfer as ‘breathtaking, magical storytelling’.

Francesca is loving the Emirates Festival of Literature and enjoying meeting people from all over the world. She is thrilled that people have come from Bahrain or driven all the way from Abu Dhabi. She is looking forward to her books for older children and Tash is naturally excited about it. If you are at the festival now, Francesca will be in a session at 10am on 21st century vikings.

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