Fantastical Literary Inspiration 2

It's back: the perfect little thinking game from Annie Edge for your next writing break. Grab a cup of tea, a biscuit and get your thinking cap on to work out this riddle... It may even inspire your writing a little bit!

First thing's first, the answer to last time's Fantastical Literary Inspiration was... The Gruffalo! How many of you got it right? Is that how you pictured the idea popping into Julia Donaldson's head?

There are so many different ways in which inspiration can hit us, so, before introducing Fantastical Literary Inspiration No.2, I thought I’d pause and reflect on how Literature (with a big ‘L’) inspires in other ways.

The way the notion of 'inspiration' caught my eye recently was in the guffaw-inducing, sanity-reducing field of BABY NAMES (stick with it; may seem circuitous but does return to Literature in the end). After all, we’ve all been named by someone, haven’t we, and for what? A great aunt with a once oh-so-naff but now on-trend, old-fashioned moniker like Florence or Edith. Talking of Florence, ‘place of conception’ names can have a poetic ring. And the American versions certainly sound good. These are obviously towns within states: Madison — Wisconsin; Savannah — Georgia; Aurora — Illinois; Logan — Utah. Across the pond, we just don’t have the same ring: Slough - Berkshire ; Shitterton – Dorset; Staines – Surrey. I could go on.

What I really wanted to comment on was literary baby names - not just literary but inspired by children’s literature - but I’ve run out of time. However, the fact that A.A Milne’s eponymous hero was actually named after a female bear at London Zoo, who was herself named after Winnipeg, the Canadian city, brings things roundly to a close.

On to this month’s Fantastical Literary Inspiration … remember, it’s a picture book. You’re in the author/illustrator’s head and this is, how I imagine, the idea for the book coming about …

Fantastical Literary Inspirations 2

Would you believe it, he’s hopped out of bed again.

I’ve had enough. Just one more interruption and it’s goodbye contract. Goodbye royalties. Goodbye advance I’d get in lieu of the royalties.

Goodbye deposit on Crane Street. Goodbye holiday treat.

Goodbye scotch down the pub. Goodbye annual subscription to the Oryctolagus Club.

Goodbye car. Goodbye star(dom).

Swiftly followed by Goodbye iconic American bedtime story if I don’t get this thing finished.

It’s no good. I’m not in the mood now.

Will go and make some mush instead.

You need to guess the author and the book but I’m afraid - in the true spirit of an occupation with few extrinsic rewards - there’s no prize for the correct answer. Enjoy!

*Feature illustration from

Annie Edge writes from flattest Suffolk where the skies are wide and blue. Once shortlisted for the East Anglian Book Award, she is now looking further afield.

Twitter: @edge_am

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