David Walliams, tips on how to promote 56 million youngsters's books coping with robust subjects | Culture | EUROtoday

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There is one thing genuinely British in the way in which David Walliams (London, 52 years previous) speaks. In the sly means wherein he apologizes for the conduct of a few of his countrymen: “I've been to Magaluf, yes: I've seen those pubs that looked like they came out of Benny Hill that of Coronation Street…sorry for all of that.” In the way in which he laughs after signing his sentences with a pointy jab: “Although, in reality, I expected Madrid to be more like Magaluf.” Author of works equivalent to The gangster grandmother, Perrobot, Little monsters o GrandmasaurusWalliams It is the good phenomenon of youngsters's literature of our time. On Tuesday he’ll develop into, that's it, the primary creator of youngsters's literature to ship the proclamation of Sant Jordi in Barcelona.

It all began in 2008, when Walliams, then a really well-known screenwriter and actor (he had co-written and co-starred in three seasons of the very iconoclastic sequence Little Britain), wrote her first youngsters's novel. “I had an idea,” he summarizes on the headquarters of Penguin Random House (the publishing home that publishes him) in Madrid. “I asked myself: What would happen if a boy went to school dressed as a girl? It was something much more shocking then, to talk about those who were different, to celebrate those differences.” Talk about her first success, The boy within the costume. Walliams, got here from writing sketches of two minutes to make individuals chortle, however he realized then that “in books you could capture an emotional life, something more personal.” “I loved writing it. “Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to write more.” She was fully proper: she has 41 books behind her, which have been translated into 55 languages ​​and which have offered greater than 56 million copies all over the world.

Marketing and well-oiled industrial equipment apart, one can not deny one thing genuinely daring about his books: they cope with robust subjects in a format accessible to all audiences. “I start thinking about the story of the characters, not the underlying theme. But I feel that, if in the end there is no theme, the story will not be worth writing.” and quote The gangster grandmother. “She is very funny, but in the end, he talks about the loss. Would people read a book about the death of a grandmother? Maybe not, but you have to find the balance between tension and fun for it to do so.”

In all these books there are illustrations. Small, easy, concise. Although his newest books are illustrated by Tony Ross, the primary ones have been drawn by Quentin Blake, whose work is inseparable from that of Roald Dahl. It's not the one motive Walliams has obtained the nickname “the new Dahl.” Millionaire gross sales apart, it’s true that in his works one perceives the identical combative protection of the colourful sanity of the kids's world versus the grey schizophrenia that surrounds the world of adults. “That comparison is very nice for me. Probably, for him, less [ríe]”. “He is the genius, the first, the king of the storytelling. He is a great influence, yes, but I couldn't compare myself to him. Every time I read it, I think my books are worse.”

“I always think the best thing you can do is swim in the opposite direction. When we did Little Brittain, The Office, by Ricky Gervais, was what triumphed. I remember thinking: if someone has already done this, and done it brilliantly, what's the point of copying them? You have to do something totally different,” he explains. “Harry Potter, for example, is something that I admire very deeply, it made no sense to emulate it,” he says. “One of the things [de Harry Potter] that succeeded was the way the children felt empowered because they could use magic. I wanted to write something where children had no power. Where the teachers, the adults, had power over them. Which I think is more like real childhood.” Another thing that differentiates it from Harry Potter, and ties it with Dahl, is that he flees from the consequences. “I think of Harry Potter, in its overwhelming success, and how it made so much thought about book series. Dahl always wrote a new book,” she points out. “No one knows what they want to read next, but children do know what they don't want to read: a poor imitation of Harry Potter. That which, Harry Potter “He’s much more successful than me,” he says, and laughs again. Well, we'll see in a few years.

David Walliams, children's writer, at the Penguin Random House publishing house in Madrid, on April 19.
David Walliams, children's writer, at the Penguin Random House publishing house in Madrid, on April 19.Pablo Monge

What is the fundamental difference between writing for television and doing children's literature? “A lot of what you do on television is dialogue. So I felt safe writing them. But generally the scripts there are very simple: INTERIOR, NIGHT. Have you seen the scripts of [Quentin] Tarantino? I read one and they are amazing, full of details and fictional. But they are the exception, because the truth is that the scripts are simple,” he reflects. “When you write in a book, you need to convey sensations with prose, express your imagination much more. The action scenes must be very vivid. I love how Ian Flemming writes action [creador de James Bond]. Simple phrases: 'Bang. He fell dead.” Another difference is that television is collaborative: “Here you are alone. Which implies more responsibility. On television if something goes wrong you can always blame someone else!”

Recurring variety show judge Britain’s Got Talent, Walliams has seen a lot of talent parade before him. How do you think children's literature can foster the talent and creativity of the little ones? “Literature introduces you to a world of mental creativity that movies do not achieve, which are passive activities. When I grew up, television was just a distraction and video games barely existed. Today is different: my son can play Roblox o Minecraft, which are more worth it,” he says. “Anyway, when I go to a restaurant and see little ones with screens it makes me a little sad. Of course I let my son play video games and watch TV, but if a kid doesn't read, he is missing out on something wonderful.”

Walliams approaches the breakfast prepared by the publisher and offers muffins. “I baked them this morning,” he jokes, before making one last reflection: “When I started 15 years ago I thought that children would stop reading, but physical books are still there. And it's partly thanks to JK Rowling. What she did with Harry Potter…all those kids queuing at midnight until the bookstores opened. Today, with children screwed to the screens, it is clear to me: books are more important than ever.”

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