Plum Puddings and Paper Moons
From multi-award winning author Glenda Millard comes the fifth book in the much-loved Kingdom of Silk series.
A story of growing up and the changing role of family, Plum Puddings and Paper Moons is the latest chapter in this magical series, and it will capture the hearts of Glenda Millard fans and brand-new readers alike.
From the author:
You thought life at the Kingdom of Silk was perfect; no-one rocks the boat, no-one disagrees, no one shouts at Nell or cuts up her school tights with the pinking shears? Well you're wrong.
'The books in the Kingdom of Silk series are about a large family who live in a small town and, happily, that gives me a lot of people to write about.
'The fifth book in the Kingdom of Silk series, Plum Puddings and Paper Moons, explores fifteen-year-old Scarlet's confused feelings about herself, her changing relationship with her family, of expressing her own opinions and of questioning others. It also touches on Scarlet's younger siblings' perceptions of her as opposed to her own. Always supportive, her family encourages her to demonstrate her convictions to the community in a very unique way.
'In reality most of us mix with people both older and younger than ourselves on most days of our lives. And one of things I enjoy writing about is the interaction between people at different stages of development and from different backgrounds.
'I don't see the need to restrict my character's ages simply because the books are easily understandable and might largely be read by younger readers.
'Older readers sometimes tell me that they wish the Kingdom of Silk was a real place - somewhere they could go to in reality. All I can aim for is to make it and my fictional characters as real as possible in the reader's mind like.'
'I sometimes think that we are all much more like the Silks than we imagine. In Nell, Ben, Layla, Perry Angel and all the others, we glimpse reflections of ourselves or people we have loved and admired or those we aspire to be 'The Silks might be unusual but they are by no means exceptional. They are very much like your family and mine; they deal with life as it comes to them, the ups and downs, the tragedies and triumphs. Love and family are all important to them and nowhere is this more evident than in Plum Puddings and Paper Moons.'
Glenda Millard has written picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults and has won many prestigious awards for the books in the Kingdom of Silk series. The Naming of Tishkin Silk was shortlisted in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and was a CBCA Honour Book. Layla, Queen of Hearts was shortlisted in the CBCA Awards and won the Queensland Premier's Children's Book Award. Perry Angel's Suitcase was shortlisted in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards and the WA Premier's Literary Awards and won the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers. All the Colours of Paradise, shortlisted for the 2010 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, was the fourth book in the award-winning Kingdom of Silk series, and now, with Plum Puddings and Paper Moons, another chapter is ready to be discovered.
Plum Puddings and Paper Moons
Harper Collins Australia
Author: Glenda Millard
Illustrator: Stephen Michael King
Interview with Glenda Millard
Question What originally inspired you to begin writing the Kingdom of Silk series?
Glenda Millard: A chance phone call from a Russian gentleman with a multi-syllabled surname was all it took to inspire me to write the first book of the Kingdom of Silk series.
I was working in a Centrelink call centre at the time and during my conversation with the client, two syllables - tish and kin - in the middle of his name caught my eye. The sounds of words, the music they make when spoken aloud have great appeal to me and immediately I resolved to use Tishkin as a name in a story.
Plot and me don't agree. I set out on a journey and story is what happens along the way. In this case I had a name and invented a suitable family for an oddly named child who was mysteriously absent from her family. The result was the book titled 'The Naming of Tishkin Silk.'
Question Where does your inspiration for writing each story in the series come from?
Glenda Millard: 'The Naming of Tishkin Silk' was written as a stand-alone book and I had absolutely no intention of writing a series. However, as a reader and a writer, the characters are crucial to my enjoyment of a book. When I'm inventing characters I spend a lot of time trying to get to know them to make them as realistic as possible and in doing so, I often become quite fond of them. Then when I learned that other people (my readers) engaged with the characters in the Kingdom of Silk books and wanted to know more about them, I decided to write another.
So in answer to your question, I think that initially the books spring from a desire to know the characters better and to explore their reactions and emotional responses to events and circumstances they meet in day-to-day life.
Question Can you talk about how you went about creating Scarlet's character?
Glenda Millard: I can still remember feelings of powerlessness and the frustration of having to conform when I was young. So I made Scarlet the girl I wish I had been when I was fifteen.
There's a passage in Plum Puddings and Paper Moons where Scarlet's teacher, Mrs. Ogilvy, is observing Scarlet. It goes like this:
Her eyes took in Scarlet's bare legs, the rhinestone teardrop on her cheek, the red poem on the pale skin of her arm and her mermaidenly hair spilling free over her shoulders
.and she wished she had been brave enough to ask questions about big things, lucky enough to have a grandmother to tell her she could change the world, wise enough to believe it and bold enough to try.
Like Mrs Ogilvy, I admire Scarlet. If I could be 15 again I'd like to be brave and wise and bold like her. But maybe it's not too late to change!
Interview by Brooke Hunter