Interview with Charlotte Offsay

Please enjoy my interview with the amazing Charlotte Offsay. We talked about her beautiful new book A GRANDMA’S MAGIC. Illustrated by Asa Gilland.

#ChatWithThePBLady

Finish the sentence. I love the smell of… freshly peeled oranges, wood burning fireplaces and chocolate.

Do you have a favorite word? I don’t think I have a favorite word, but exclamation marks and I could probably use some time apart ;). 

What would you do if you had the whole day to yourself? I spend every free moment I get working on my stories and love having an entire day to myself to write.

What was the last book you read?

PB – I review picture books on Instagram (@picturebookrecommendations) and just read a stack of soon to be released picture books that I adore (you’ll have to follow me there to find out more!). 

MG – I read chapter books to my children (8 & 6) before bed most evenings and we just finished The Land of Stories seriesby Chris Colfer, which we adored it from beginning to end.

Adult – I am currently reading Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, and highly recommend it!

Let’s talk about A GRANDMA’S MAGIC. This book is a beautiful ode to Grandma’s everywhere. What was the inspiration behind the book?

Thank you for your kind words! A Grandma’s Magic was inspired by my own magical grandma. I began writing it during a picture book course that I was taking at the time through The Children’s Book Academy. We were told that the best stories often come from the things we care about the most and were encouraged to write from the heart. I had just said goodbye after a fun-filled visit with my grandma who lives overseas in England (where I was born) and was consumed with missing herdearly. I wrote a story that celebrated grandma magic, but it was a very different manuscript with a traditional narrative arc. Over time with the help of my agent, Nicole Geiger, my talented critique partners and my editor, Frances Gilbert, the manuscript evolved to be an ode to every grandma, and it is my hope that readers find and celebrate their own grandma’s magic reflectedin the pages. 

The book showcases grandma’s doing different activities with their grandchildren. Do you have a favorite activity that you did with your grandma as a child? 

Many of the pages of the book are inspired by activities that I did with my own grandmas as a child. I have fond memories of baking with one of my grandmas in her kitchen and quilting with my other grandma every summer when we went to visit for example. The spread of the child collecting shells on the beach though is inspired by watching my own daughter with her grandma (my mother in law) on the beach – collecting shells is their favorite activity and they wander of down the sand and inevitably lose track of time.  

The bond between a grandma and her grandchild is so special and you portray this beautifully. Can you talk about why the bond between a grandma and grandchild is so important?

That is very kind of you, but I have to give a lot of that credit to the talented Asa Gilland, who illustrated our book. She did an incredible job of bringing A Grandma’s Magic to life and her characters are huggable. 

I agree that the bond between a child and a grandchild is unique. I whole heartedly believe that my grandmas influences have shaped me into who I am today and think it is important to recognize, honor and cherish them and their magic that lives inside me. I hope A Grandma’s Magic encourages others to celebrate the magic their grandmas have brought to their lives too.

What else would you like to share about your book? 

I will be celebrating the launch of A Grandma’s Magic with my favorite local independent bookstore, Children’s Book WorldLA on April 5th! I hope people will join me for a virtual story time, Q&A and a chance to celebrate their own grandmas!

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