Kit Pearson is a much-loved Canadian children’s author. Her award-winning novels include The Guests of War series (The Sky is Falling, Looking at the Moon and The Lights Go On Again), Awake and Dreaming (winner of the Governor General’s Award) and the just published Be My Love (companion to The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth). Also recently published The Magic Boat, a picture book she wrote with partner Katherine Farris. The Magic Boat is a lovely story about shyness, friendship and imagination. Marmalade Books was pleased to feature it in our February 2019 Picture Book Box. Kit and Katherine live in our hometown of Victoria, B.C.
MARMALADE BOOKS: Kit, I've long been a fan of your work. As a bookseller for the past twenty years, I regularly recommended your books to customers. It’s no surprise to me that you have won many awards. I've often felt that people don't appreciate how vital and beautifully written books are for young readers. So I was certainly excited for you and Canadian children's literature as a whole, when you were named a Member of the Order of Canada (“for your contributions as an author of Canadian literature for children and young adults”). It doesn’t happen very often that a children’s author or illustrator is recognized in this way. What does the award mean to you?
KIT PEARSON: It’s absolutely thrilling! At my age it’s a wonderful recognition of my vocation, and of course it’s terrific that they have recognized the importance of writing for children.
MARMALADE BOOKS: Kit, although you wrote a picture book many years ago, you have primarily written novels for young readers. What made you decide to go back to writing a picture book? Are you planning more in the future?
KIT PEARSON: I wrote this book because Orca (Book Publishers) asked me to write a picture book with a story set on the West Coast. It was so much fun that perhaps I’ll try another one some day.
MARMALADE BOOKS: Kit and Katherine: What was your inspiration for The Magic Boat?
KIT PEARSON & KATHERINE FARRIS: The inspiration came from a photo of an old boat half buried in the sand that we both remember seeing – unfortunately we cannot remember where!
MARMALADE BOOKS: Katherine, you are a wonderful gallery artist and have appeared in many local art shows over the last several years. Would you ever consider illustrating a book written by Kit? (Check out Katherine’s wonderful work at www.kfarris.com)
KATHERINE FARRIS: Years ago I did illustrations for the odd magazine article. Now I’m more comfortable with paint and large brushes. Illustration (and drawing people especially) is not my forte! Since the publisher tends to choose the graphic artists for their books, I don’t think that particular partnership will happen anytime soon.
MARMALADE BOOKS: Kit and Katherine, you've known each other for many years. How did you meet?
KIT PEARSON & KATHERINE FARRIS We have lived together for almost 14 years. We met through a mutual friend in Vancouver.
My thanks to Kit and Katherine for this interview. I look forward to your future collaborations. Pat Oldroyd