- Album This interview has been made to promote the Hey Grandude! (audiobook) Official album.
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Earlier this month Paul invited his Instagram followers to ask him about his new children’s picture book, Hey Grandude!. We caught up with him earlier in the month to find out the answers to some important questions, such as ‘Who would play Grandude in a movie?’ and ‘What has Paul learnt from his Chillers?. If you missed out on watching the Q&A on Instagram Stories, you can watch them again below – we also managed to sneak in an extra question which you can read below.
Does Grandude have a Grandmammy? @caroleknell
Does Grandude have a wife? Well, that’s a very good question and I think that might get revealed if there’s another book. But at the moment it hasn’t even been thought of, but I do like the idea! It’s at the back of my mind and it will develop if there’s another book.
Would you consider a ‘Hey Grandude!’ soundtrack? @dhanitaylor
Well, I’ve done a ‘Grandude’ soundtrack with the talking book! That’s all I’ve done so far and because one of the illustrations shows Grandude playing the guitar, I did a little bit of guitar on the session which was quite fun! So I don’t think there are any plans for a soundtrack, other than that! The soundtrack is the talking book.
How old is Grandude? @katerina_stajnerova
Grandude is approximately seventy seven, which strangely enough is my age! He could be a little older, he could be a little younger, he’s any age you like!
Who would play Grandude in the film? @georgiewaterworth
Brad Pitt! Brad Pitt would be the ideal choice to play Grandude in a film. He might need a little bit of makeup, a couple of prosthetics here and there and a hairband; but I think he would be very good, don’t you?
Kathryn’s art was so great! Are you still painting, Paul? @Sooygiss
Yeah, thank you for saying that Kathryn’s art was really good. I was very happy with it and I think she got the tone exactly right. Will I be doing some more painting and drawing? You know I haven’t had time – or I haven’t made time recently – to do any because I’ve been working on an album, working on music and touring. So I haven’t done much lately but I keep thinking about it so maybe I’ll get a bit of time soon to pick it back up again.
Would you like to make a cartoon based on this book? @karinamclean
You know looking at the illustrations that Kathryn’s done for the Hey Grandude! book I thought, “Oh yeah, these could be animated!” And then I learned that she had worked at Pixar which is the great, one of the greatest animation houses in the world. So I think you know it would work. The only trouble is that at the moment there are only three little stories, so you’d have to stretch it. You’d have to have much more content before you really thought about doing a film, but it is an interesting idea. For now though, I think there’s not enough content to make it work.
What have you learned from your grandchildren? @lucreuv
What do I learn from my grand chillers?Well the first thing was one of them said to me, “Hey Grandude!” which gave me the whole idea for the book. So, there’s something I learned! You learn a lot, you know, they keep you up with things, things you might not have noticed as your life isn’t a child’s life. So you know they’ll talk to you about various programmes and music they love. So it’s great, it keeps you informed with how they live, not just how you live. So I love it!
How did you come up with the idea for the plot? @lubiebitli
Once I had the idea of the character Grandude, I talked to the publishers. I talked to them and said ‘Hey I’m thinking of doing this idea’ And they sent me this great presentation. It was really clever, it was like a suitcase and they put postcards in it and everything. So a lot of that gave me ideas for Grandude before I had really started thinking of the stories. So I met with them and said “I like the idea of the postcards and stuff…” So there was a lot of collaboration. I went away and just thought of some locations where Grandude could go. The beach – obviously a lovely way to get away from a grey British day! And then the desert, which to me would be like Arizona, which is a place I love. Then Switzerland with the Alps, which again I’ve been too and I liked when you go on a skiing holiday and such. So I just thought of those locations and started thinking of a story in each one and then I got back to publishers and allowed them to collaborate, quite a lot. I think perhaps more than a lot of authors would do, ’cause it’s not like I’m trying to be the most famous children’s author in the world. This is just something for my grandkids that was spawned by their idea, so I was kind of casual about it. So yeah it was great fun collaborating with all these people and ideas “maybe we could do that or maybe we could do that…” and so that’s how it happened.
And last but not least we asked Paul – ‘As a ‘Chiller’ what books did you love?
As a chiller I was a huge fan of the’Rupert The Bear’ annuals, I remember reading those every year. Then I remember reading ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson and ‘Black Beauty’. I think reading ‘Black Beauty’ started my love for horses I have today. Then when I got a little older and I went to school I read ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ by Charles Dickens but as a Chiller, it was ‘Rupert The Bear’, ‘Treasure Island’ and ‘Black Beauty’.