Q&A with Mick Inkpen
Who was your favourite author/illustrator as a child?
I used to compete shamelessly with Elizabeth Scriven to see who was the fastest reader in the class, but at home we didn’t have too many books. One I do remember though was Jenning’s Little Hut by Anthony Buckeridge. I wanted to be at that boarding school.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
One of the more vivid ones is playing on my own in a meadow of grasses taller than me, setting off explosions of little blue butterflies.
If you weren’t an author/illustrator, what other job would you do and why?
I guess I’d be involved in film or theatre in same capacity – especially the stage. I’m a sucker for anything from panto to Chekhov. Although, in an alternative universe, somewhere my day job involves regularly beating Federer, even on grass.
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Probably best to keep your heroes at a safe distance where the flaws don’t show. Oh all right then, Bertie Bassett – I love liquorice allsorts.
What is your morning/daily routine?
Really boring. Newspapers. Museli. Juice. E-mails. Maybe feed the fish in the little pond in front of my studio and watch the tadpoles if i want to avoid work for a while. At the moment I’m trying to do a regular bike ride which takes in five short hills and starts in our lane. It’s a mid-life thing.
What is your favourite city to visit and why?
Debbie and I became London tourists for a week a few years ago, having both been brought up on its frayed edges but never really explored it. We walked pretty much everywhere in a heatwave and the city shrank. We didn’t begin to scratch the surface but every day was magic, from curiosities like the Sir John Soanes Museum to tickets for Wimbledon. And no Easyjet queues.