Finding Family Time and Creative Inspiration at Fowey Hall Hotel
Earlier this year, children’s author Nathan G.K. came to stay at Fowey Hall and wrote most of his new book Harry the Christmas Mouse at the hotel. Look out for Harry The Happy Mouse in our library – N.G.K sent the hotel a lovely ‘Thank you’ gift. We asked him about the books and about his stay at Fowey.
• Hello! Can you tell us a little about the book?
Harry The Happy Mouse is a children's picture book. It’s my first book and was published in 2015. The book is a traditional story that explains the ‘pay it forward’ idea to children. I've now released Harry The Christmas Mouse, which is about the power of teamwork, with the animals helping to save Christmas.
• When did you first have the idea, and was it inspired by anything in particular?
I read a lot of picture books with my children, and love that time we spend together. It's sometimes difficult to find picture books that don't rely on ‘toilet’ humour! I wanted to write a ‘sweet’ book that had a good message at its core.
• Without giving too much away, what’s it ‘about’?
Harry helps a frog who is in trouble, but instead of asking for something in return, he asks that the good deed is passed on. At the end of the story we find that his kindness has spread through many others. Harry is happy because we learn that helping others makes you feel great.
• Have long have you been a writer, and what do particularly enjoy about writing for children?
Only just over a year. I've been so surprised how supportive the author community is. I'm so happy that Harry has been such a success, and has had some wonderful reviews.
I love writing for children, although it can be challenging. Fitting all of the elements of a story into something intended for bedtime really concentrates you on the critical elements of the story.
• How did you go about finding the right illustrator?
This was a tricky part. I had up to 50 people send a sample illustration before meeting Janelle Dimmett. Janelle just got the whole thing straight away. The illustrations are absolutely perfect, and so detailed.
• How did you come to be staying at Fowey Hall, and what did you think of the hotel? Was it your first visit?
We were staying for a family event while I was writing my second book. I’ve been known to be quite picky when it comes to hotels, but I was absolutely blown away by Fowey Hall. I have two children, and they were really well catered for, and made to feel extremely special.
We’re lucky enough to have stayed in some great hotels around the world, and without doubt, Fowey Hall is the best hotel we have stayed in as a family. The room was amazing, the staff were friendly, and the food was first class.
• Where did you write at the hotel? Where there any spots that you found especially conducive to creativity?
The hotel has an amazing swimming pool with huge glass windows looking out to sea. I'm not a huge fan of swimming, so while my family went for a dip, I found a bean bag and wrote 75% of Harry The Christmas Mouse in front of that wonderful view.
• What else did you do in Cornwall, and what can you recommend to other visitors?
There is an amazing beach called Lansallos, which is absolutely beautiful, and worth the short walk. But on this trip it was just wonderful to stay at the hotel, as there was lots to do.
• Do you have any tips for budding children’s writers?
Keep writing. I will change something 20 times before I'm happy with it, and every time, it improves. Above all, just do it! I'm so surprised how many people have a good idea, maybe even write it down, but then don't do anything with it. You'll never know until you try…
Find the books in the hotel library, bookshops or online, along with printable activities for kids.