We are so pleased that Terence Houghton publishes his first novel today, The Pink Swan. TAUK Publishing chatted to him about his writing, his influences and why Kermit the Frog is on his radar.
Tell us about the book you have written.
It’s about a pink swan that thinks too much of her looks. But something drastic happens that changes her attitude with the help of frogs and other swans. It’s a great story that teaches children about their feelings and how it’s good to accept the support of others.
Why did you pick this story to publish?
I have written many stories, but this particular one was a favourite of those who read the story. This gave me the confidence to have it published.
What inspired this story?
I wrote The Pink Swan many years ago, so I can’t remember what inspired me exactly. But I like observing things around me, which usually gives me new ideas. I guess I must have watched some swans on a lake at some point.
How long did it take to write?
The Pink Swan took me two days at most to write. It wasn’t very long at all.
If you could pick anyone to read your story on Jackanory, who would it be?
Kermit the Frog.
What kind of books did you read as a child?
I honestly can’t remember much. But my mum always took us to the local library in Sherwood. My mum said she taught us to read before we started school. I remember reading Charles Dickens and really enjoying To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which we read at school.
Do you plan a story and then create the character, or does the character come first?
The character always comes first. Then usually, the character will develop the story.
You’re watching TV and wish you were part of the writing team. What are you watching?
The adverts! I’m always saying there could be improvements.
Why did you choose TAUK Publishing?
I chose TAUK Publishing because it was recommended by a fellow author. It was actually her husband, our plumber, who mentioned it.
What’s next for Terence Houghton?
Many more stories. I have so many I don’t know which to choose next. It may be my Pirate series with Captain Peter Stalk and his fellow sailors, or a story titled The Little Yellow Sticky Bug—that would be a fun one for older kids. I’m also doing an educational book called Peter the Proton about understanding chemicals. This would be good for any age to understand chemistry.
You can watch Terence read The Parsnip Nose on his YouTube channel Storytime With Terence