> Skip to content

Article  •  25 October 2021

 

Monica McInerney on writing for children

Bestselling Australian author of The Godmothers explores the joy of writing Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat, her first book for kids.

I learned to read as a four-year-old and I can still clearly remember the joy I felt when I first fell into fictional worlds, in books by Enid Blyton in particular. It was as if I was right there beside the characters, living their adventures. I especially loved it when magic popped up.

I have 18 nieces and nephews and many of them have been guinea pigs for my earlier (unpublished) children’s stories (usually starring each of them in different roles.)

When I first started writing Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat, I knew I wanted to include all the ingredients I loved in my childhood reading: family, friendship, fun, drama and adventure – with the addition of a generous sprinkling of magic.

I loved writing ten-year-old Marcie Gill’s character – she is (very) earnest, (overly) curious, (usually) kind but she (definitely) has a temper too, which gets her into trouble. As a lifelong cat lover, I also had great fun with George the cat. Midway through the final edits, I adopted a rescue kitten we named Nicholas. He (uncannily) resembled George, with his black fur and very green eyes. I did most of the final tweaks with Nicholas curled up beside my laptop computer.

My adult novels all have international settings, but for Marcie Gill, the action takes place in the fictional Australian town of Snorkel Bay, in the family’s caravan park. To write those scenes, I recalled childhood holidays by the beach, hot Decembers and the build-up to Christmas.

I loved writing the scenes with all three generations of the Gill family too. There are tensions to be eased, problems to be fixed, they are all worried about Gran – but I wanted to show their love and support for each other too. I’m the middle child of a lively family of seven, with three brothers and three sisters, so I had lots to draw on for the scenes between Marcie and her tennis-mad big sister and fish-obsessed little brother.

I hope young readers will feel like they are right there in the Snorkel Bay Caravan Park, alongside Marcie, George, Gran and all the Gill family, enjoying their adventures and watching the magic unfold.


Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat Monica McInerney, Danny Snell

This heartwarming story by award-winning and bestselling author Monica McInerney will delight readers young and old.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Article
Puffinalia Magazine 2022, Issue 1

Puffinalia for Educators.

Article
Let us tell you a story

Australian authors and personalities read some of our favourite picture books.

Article
What you should read next based on your fave Netflix shows

Done binging the latest TV sensation? Pick up a book and keep the good times rolling. 

Activity
Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park activity pack

Colour in Marcie and George, the cat.

Article
11 fun facts about Gild by Raven Kennedy

Everything you need to know about TikTok’s most hyped fantasy series.

Article
Did you know? Bill Gates reads 50 books a year

Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft, credits his hefty reading list for his success.

Article
The Glucose Goddess’ number one trick for dessert without the sugar crash

If you love dessert but hate the sugar crash that follows, this trick is for you. Jessie Inchauspé – AKA The Glucose Goddess – shares her top tip for enjoying sweets, so you can have your cake and eat it too!

Article
Tap into your inner knowing with this super easy exercise

Have a big decision to make? Don’t know which direction to go in your life? Now might be the perfect opportunity to tap in to your inner knowing.

Article
Lynette Noni shares sage advice for developing lifelike characters

Lynette Noni, bestselling author of YA fantasy The Prison Healer trilogy shares how she creates unforgettable characters that feel like real people.

Article
Shirley Marr shares experience as child that inspired new book

‘That memory will stay with me for a long time, it was really touching and something I will always remember.’

Article
Why the Australian outback makes a perfect setting for crime novels

An intro to the bourgeoning genre of outback noir.

Looking for more articles?

See all articles