Frequently Asked Questions

These are questions which Harriet often gets asked at events, and in messages, emails and letters. Click each question to see the answer.

How did you become an author/illustrator?

When I was about 15, I had an author come to visit my school and that author was James Mayhew. His visit was very inspiring! Before that I didn’t realise it was a job you could actually do! From that moment onwards I decided that that’s were I wanted to channel my creativity. So I worked hard in my art lessons at school and then studied illustration at university, followed by an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. The writing sort of naturally followed but I would say I got into my career through the illustration side of things.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Read lots and write lots! Also, write what you are passionate about! I always find my best work comes when I am writing about something I am really interested in – the things that make me feel sparkly and fizzy inside!

How many books have you written?

Currently, (as of November 2023) I have written just over 40 books. You can see a list of all my books here.

Do you prefer writing or illustrating more?

I really can’t decide! I think I like both equally. Sometimes I will feel more like writing and sometimes I will feel more like illustrating, so it sort of switches, depending on how I am feeling! But overall I think I love them both the same as you can create whole magical worlds with either!

Are there any Wilbur books?

Not at the moment. To be honest I don’t see myself writing a series where Wilbur is the main character (sorry!) but he does feature quite heavily in the Mirabelle books!

How do you come up with the stories that you write? How do you get your inspiration?

This is the question I get asked most often and I find it the hardest to answer as I’m just not really sure! I think I just kind of absorb things as I go about my daily life and then they subconsciously churn about and mix together for a while inside my head before popping out as ideas later on! I also love to write about what I am passionate about so will try to inject those things into my books and characters – miniatures, nature, sparkles and glitter, gothic things, stars, flowers, crystals… etc

When did you start writing?

I guess I have always written, as I used to write stories for fun, ever since I was really little! But professionally, I actually studied Illustration for my degree. I would say it was the illustration that led me into my career and then, because I was creating picture books, the writing just sort of naturally came with that territory. And then I found myself wanting to write and illustrate longer things, like Isadora Moon. And then even longer with Victoria Stitch!

How did you get the idea for Isadora Moon?

Isadora Moon was created because I really wanted to do a book particularly in black and pink. That was the thing that came first really! So I had to think of a character that would embody both those colours. I thought a half vampire and half fairy girl and world would be the perfect mix of the gothic black with sparkly pink.

What was your favourite childhood book or series?

I loved reading when I was a child. I remember reading Mrs Pepperpot a lot. I adore The Borrowers – although I appreciate those books more as an adult funnily enough. I’ve always loved looking at the beautiful illustrations in the Brambly Hedge books. As you can see, I do especially love books about miniature people and miniature worlds!

I also really loved the Dorrie books by Patricia Coombs, as they are the perfect mix of spooky and comforting, with beautiful illustrations. They are about a little witch! I loved the Pookie books, about a little rabbit with wings. And I loved the illustrations of Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone. Especially the scenes that had fairies in them!

Do you like fairies?

YES! I would say I am definitely more fairy than vampire in fact! I think when it comes to spooky things, it’s the gothic aesthetic that I really love. But I’m actually not too into dark or horror-y stuff. I just love the striking look of it!

Please could you write an Isadora story about…

I get asked a lot if I will write an Isadora book in a particular theme – I love hearing your ideas! Who knows, maybe one day there will be an Isadora Moon book on the subject that you are hoping for! Isadora Moon and the Easter bunny seems to be a popular request!

Who is your favourite character that you’ve created?

I am really passionate about all my characters so it feels mean to pick one! They are all special to me in different ways. However, I do have a particular soft spot for Victoria Stitch as I actually created her first, before Isadora Moon, back when I was 19! She has very much stayed with me and evolved with me over the years and so the character means a lot to me. I was SO happy when I was finally able to get her published in a book! Victoria Stitch is a wiskling and wisklings are tiny creatures no taller than 5 inches. They all live in a magical place called Wiskling Wood, which is basically my ideal place to live! It’s very pretty and idyllic and a lot of the wisklings live inside hollow trees. They also fly around on leaves or flowers (blooms!) and they are born from crystals. In Victoria Stitch I got to write my ultimate fantasy book about a glamorous and sparkly miniature world, with a gothic streak of course! It’s aimed at 9-12 year olds, so a bit of a jump up from Isadora Moon.

I am writing my own book but can’t think of a name for my character, can you give me some ideas?

I LOVE names!! I can spend hours talking about names! I would suggest to start keeping a list of names that you love. There are also lots of interesting baby name lists on the internet and YouTube videos about names too. (Although remember to ask a responsible adult’s permission before you look them up!) One little tip to create a unique name is be to find two names that you like and mash them together to create a new one!

What is your favourite colour?

I love hot pink! But day to day I mainly just wear black. I love to accentuate with a colourful piece of jewellery or bright lipstick though. I also really love the colour gold! And, of course, who doesn’t love RAINBOWS!?

What is your favourite food?

I really love croissants! And I also really dark hot chocolate (like Victoria Stitch) with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles!

What is your Favourite Isadora book?

I love them all of course, but I do especially love Isadora Moon goes to a Wedding because in that story she shrinks and goes on top of the wedding cake with mischievous Mirabelle! Stories about miniature people are my favourite!

Who illustrates your books?

I illustrated Isadora Moon up to book 12 (Isadora goes to a Wedding) but since then some wonderful copy-artists have taken over as it was just too much for me to keep up with once I started writing Mirabelle, Emerald and Victoria Stitch alongside the Isadora Moon books.

Mirabelle and Emerald have only ever been illustrated by a copy-artist, Mike Love, who does such an INCREDIBLE job with them!

Victoria Stitch, however, has all been illustrated by me!

How long does it take to do a book?

The World of Isadora Moon books can take about a week to write, but they used to take me a couple of months to illustrate. So I would say that they maybe take about 3 months to create overall. The Victoria Stitch books are a lot longer and take me about a year!

Do you have a pink cuddly bunny?

No, unfortunately, not! My favourite animal as a child though, for a long time, was rabbits! And I had a big collection of stuffed bunnies. A few of them were pink. But I never had a particularly special pink rabbit toy like Isadora Moon and I don’t have any of my rabbit collection anymore.

How old are you?

In 2023 I am 35!

How old were you when you got your first book published?

My first published book was a picture book called I am a Witch’s Cat and I was 26 when it was published. You can see more about it on my books page.

Why do you use pink and black?

I have always just loved the colours black and pink together. It’s the dark goth vibe juxtaposed with fairy candy pink that really pleases me as they are so opposite. But I love looking at them contrasting together!

Did you always want to be an author?

No because I didn’t realise it WAS a job you could do until I was about 15! I just assumed that if you were arty the only option was to study fine art. I didn’t even realise that illustration was a subject you could study! But as soon as I realised, I knew that was EXACTLY what I wanted to do!

Do you visit schools?

Sometimes! But it can be a bit of a balance juggling events alongside with having enough time to actually write and illustrate, so, unfortunately, I don’t visit schools very often. You can read updates on my school visits on my schools page.

Will you write more?

I plan to! I’d love to make books for as long as I can! Currently, as of 2023, there are plenty more Isadora Moon, Mirabelle and Emerald books coming, as well as more books about Wiskling World!

Will there be another Victoria Stitch?

I would love to write more Victoria Stitch. At the moment, I feel like the trilogy has stopped at a good point and I am taking a little pause, BUT I definitely have ideas for more Victoria Stitch books in the future! Maybe even for when Minnie Stitch is a bit older! In the meantime I am continuing to work on something else set in Wiskling World, so there are definitely more wiskling books coming, which I am VERY excited about!

How do you create your illustrations?

I like to use pen and ink and watercolour. But then I do quite a lot of tweaking and ‘neatening up’ on Photoshop/Procreate afterwards.

How did you come up with the idea for Pink Rabbit?

It was a long time ago, way before I created Isadora Moon, that I had the idea for Pink Rabbit. I think I was thinking of whimsical things such as the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland but I liked the idea of him being pink and having stitching on his arms and legs to make him look a bit more gothic. I always wished my toys would come alive when I was young!

Will Isadora Moon be on TV?

‘how do I get a Pink Rabbit toy?’

There is a free downloadable pattern of how to make Pink Rabbit on my website (as well as lots more activities). Unfortunately, he is not available to buy as a soft toy. That would be wonderful though! Who knows, MAYBE one day there will be Pink Rabbits to buy.

I would love to be able to write a story but that I find it difficult

Well, I’m sure you are better at writing stories than you think you are! I think you should just write all your thoughts and ideas down! It doesn’t matter if they don’t make sense.

Once they are on the page then you can play around with them or come back to them at a later date but at least they are written down. There is a free downloadable Isadora Moon Guide to Writing Stories you can use here.