Judith Kerr: An Author and Her Big and Small Cats

Judith Kerr was born on 14th June 1923 in Hamburg, Germany to a German-Jewish theatre critic. The family fled Germany in 1933 on the eve of war, fearful because Judith’s father had been openly critical of the Nazis, events that inspired her writing for years to come.

Originally a budding artist, this was put on the backburner when she became a refugee. Eventually the family would settle in Britain and when Judith had her own children she started writing and drawing again.

Her first and possibly most famous work The Tiger Who Came to Tea was published in 1968, inspired by the threat at the door of living under the Reich. The tiger came to being after visits Judith and her children made to the zoo and made up stories for her children based on the animals. A favourite of her daughter’s was the ‘tiger story’, and the Tiger

My own favourite is Mog the cat and this series of stories is also inspired by a real cat. Judith had always wanted a cat as a child but had been unable to because of the family’s instability, when she moved into her own house she acquired an eccentric cat inspiring an 18 series long set of books.

Kerr’s other best known series doesn’t feature cats, but there is a pink rabbit. The Out of the Hitler Time trilogy is a semi-autobiographical story of a young Jewish girl and her family escaping the Nazis.

Aside from that Kerr has at least a dozen books to her name, the most recent published in 2015 and this life of writing is testament to one of the most popular children’s authors of our time.

Private Lives of Authors: Hans Christian Andersen

By | Authors, Literature | No Comments
Hans Christian Andersen lead a life almost as full of intrigue and romance as his fairy tales. In perhaps unsurprising comparisons to Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, Doctor Alfred Charles Kinsey of the Institute for Sex Research noted:

“Andersen could not tell the world of his own homosexual love for the people of the world, but the original manuscripts showed his feelings clearly.”

 

Read More

Watch the trailer for the new Mary Shelley movie here!

By | Adaptations, Authors | No Comments
Mary Shelley’s life was so full of passion and drama that it is perfect for the movies, and a new film directed by Haifaa Al Mansour hopes to do the great writer’s life justice.

Love, lust, and loss colour the story of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and Percy Shelley which resulted in the classic horror tale Frankenstein. Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Box Trolls) and Douglas Booth (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) star as Mary and Percy, and take us with them on their heart-rending journey.

Read More

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About James Herbert

By | Authors | No Comments
James Herbert (8th April 1943 – 20th March 2013) was an English horror writer with book sales totalling more than 54 million books, translated into 34 languages.

Born in London, Herbert released his first novel, The Rats in 1974. This and many of his other works would go on to become major adaptations in their own right. He wrote and released work right up to w2012, just a year before his death and is said to be an inspiration to many other horror authors, including Stephen King, who described his writing as “like Mike Tyson in the ring, all brute force”. Read More

New Twitter game hilariously shames bad male authors

By | Authors, Literature | No Comments
A new Twitter game has taken the internet by storm!

Many women have noticed how female characters can be so badly written, especially by men. It is almost as if those male writers don’t see women as people, with complex personalities and 3-dimensional lives. The strange and often nonsensical over-description of women’s bodies  can be most irritating, and when a male writer has a female character narrating, it often becomes embarrassing for everyone involved.

Writer Gwen C. Katz noticed this happening again and again until one day, when faced with yet another ridiculous passage in a book she had begun reading, she tweeted a snippet from the book.

The discussion that followed prompted her fellow women readers and writers on Twitter to join in a game… Describe yourself as a male writer would. 

Read More

Stephen King gives $50,000 to Portland elementary schools

By | Authors, Culture | No Comments
Stephen King set up The Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation in 1986 to provide support for communities in Maine. As a family foundation, their key focus is community, with much of the donations going towards education and community projects.

The STKF has recently awarded a $50,000 grant that will be used to help with providing books and a literacy program in Portland elementary schools.

Spokeswoman Kate Snyder noted that Portland public schools’ Books and Literacy Resources program will certainly benefit from the award with the $50,000 used to build book collections to also celebrate culture and language differences.

Read More

Emile Zola: A Death Stranger than Fiction

By | Authors | No Comments
Emile Zola was born on 2nd April 1840 and died on 29th September 1902. His life was interesting and full, and by today’s standards his death, by carbon monoxide poisoning, was pretty mundane but back then in 1902 was considered to be mysterious and caused great controversy.

Zola accrued many enemies during his life and thanks to a series of death threats always slept with his bedroom door firmly closed and locked. On 1st September 1902, Zola and his wife, Alexandrine returned from a trip to the country on a wet, cold night. They returned to their house on the rue de Bruxelles in Paris. After lighting a coal fire, the pair retired to bed, the window shut and door locked due to the death threats Emile Zola had received. Read More



Leave a Reply