One look at Val Rainey’s website, and you’ll be in love! It’s a treasure trove of beautiful illustrations and fun. Val and I spent a little time talking about her children’s book, Sunny’s Grand Adventure.
What was your inspiration for writing Sunny’s Grand Adventure?
Well, it was a daisy pin that belonged to my mother Betty. Sunny began as a six-page double spaced hand written piece of silly and grew into a story/colouring book.
She is limited to a print run of 1000 copies and naturally I sign them all.
Part of her earnings is donated to children’s charities.
Do you have children in your own family who enjoy your books?
Yes. I gave my brother and my nieces and nephews their own copies for Christmas 2004.
Since then Sunny has been doing a lot of flying. Some of her adventures have taken her to Australia, Germany, New Zealand and of course Canada and the U.S.
Your website, The Elf and Toadstool, is a wonderful place full of whimsy and fantasy. Have you always been interested in fantasy?
I guess so. I always loved the faerie tales that I was read and learned how to read on my own.
What’s your writing process like?
Oh, now there’s a dangerous question! The adventure begins when a character comes to visit the way Sunny and Marigold both did. From there it can get pretty crazy with everyone telling me how the story actually happened. Yes. Past tense. I end up being an overworked recording secretary as much as the author.
Marigold is a series that I am working on. Marigold is a dragon. She is definitely not your regular dragon…oh no…not her.
Did you have a hand in choosing or creating the illustrations?
You want to believe it. I have a lovely lady Emily J. Hercock who lives in the U.K. I let her know what I want and voila.
What is your favorite children’s book?
It is a series of books that has been around a very long time. It is called simply My Bookhouse. The early illustrations were absolutely scrumptious. They were done in plates. The set I had was printed in the fifties. The series started with easy poems like the Little Red Hen and went all the way through to Shakespeare. I sure wish that I still had it.
Do you have more children’s books planned for the future?
Always! One series that I’m busy working on is called The Sunshine Collection. The first book, Fun and Frolic, is a collection of stories and poems written by my mother and I over a 75 year period. I never knew that she wrote until a box arrived from one of her sisters in 2000 with her work and other family treasures.
I’m busy with Down on the Farm and plan have it out for Christmas. The lovely Emily Hercock is doing the illustrations and cover for it.
Oh! I almost forgot……. I will also have a special poem about Max the Christmas Mouse available then too.