Emma Donoghue rose to prominence with a global bestseller in which the protagonist was a five-year-old, but now the Canada-based Irish writer is on the verge of turning her attention – briefly at least – to writing for children rather than about them.
The author of Room is currently on the promotional trail for her latest novel, Frog Music, which offers a fictionalised account of a real-life murder in 1876 San Francisco.
She is also working on her next novel as well as the screenplay for Room, which is being adapted by Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, the man behind the current cinema hit Frank.
But the thing that seems to be making her most nervous is a forthcoming book for children, to be given a trial run on her 10-year-old son Finn.
With an adult book, you can picture readers maybe putting down your book and walking away if they’re bored. But with a [children’s] book, you can imagine the kids literally throwing it across the room and saying, ‘That sucks!
I’m just about to show a draft to my son and three friends of his. I’m calling them ‘the focus group of consultant editors’. I’m really bricking it, you know.
Many established novelists have made forays into children’s writing, and
While it is not always met with instant acclaim when established writers of adult fiction try their hand at writing for children, Donoghue is at least in the best of company – few of the greatest writers have allowed their writing lives to pass without publishing at least one book for kids.