Every day until Christmas Eve I’ll be introducing you to an author whose debut novel came out this year. Today it’s Marie Voigt.
About Marie Voigt
Tell us about your book.
Red and the City is a highly original and thought-provoking picture book retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with a modern twist and aimed at ages 5-99. The book is about finding and following your ‘path of love’ in our modern world full of temptations and distractions which are personified by fun-to-spot wolf elements and lots of clever symbolism hidden within the stylish red, black and grey artwork.
Where did the inspiration come from?
Having just woken up one morning and thinking about what I could paint for my illustration portfolio that day, I suddenly had this image come to me of a tiny girl dressed in red offset against big buses, trains and lorries on a busy road. As I was doing a coloured sketch of this on my iPad, I thought, ‘Hey, this could be Little Red Riding Hood!’ And then, ‘Hey, this could be Little Red Riding Hood in the City! Hang on, this must have been done lots of times already.’ But a quick Google search later, I was surprised and relieved to see that it hadn’t. I was thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if the wolf was the city, and the city representative of the ‘system’ and the social conditioning and the challenges we grow up into. I think it only took me the rest of that day to sketch out the other spreads, because deep down, Red’s journey through the city is what I’d been going through in my own life up to that point.
Who would this book make the perfect present for?
According to one reviewer, Red and the City “is a great gift for fairytale lovers, fans of fine illustrations, and anyone who sometimes loses sight of the heart flower path. But it is mostly for our children who have the right to be prepared for the world”.
What will you be reading this Christmas?
Probably some fairly trashy novel to relax my overactive mind!
When you’re not writing, what do you like doing?
I love spending time in nature, hiking, cycling and stand-up paddle boarding. I also love watching movies, reading and catching up with family and friends.
Tell us one Christmas tradition you follow without fail.
Despite having, shockingly, worked most Christmases over the last few years due to deadlines, we always try to at least go for a walk and have a nice home-cooked Christmas meal.