Exclusive interview with Lucy Noguera

When I had the pleasure of coming across SWOP The Satsuma-Sized Secret a few months ago I could not wait to share my review on my blog so that others would know just what an incredible title this is. Aimed at those readers that are starting to venture into early chapter books and begin to enjoy independent reading this is such a brilliantly written story that will capture those children’s imaginations, and their hearts alike as they become familiar with the tiny dog with the huge heart! If you would like to read my review you can find it here. I am delighted to now be able to share an exclusive interview I have had the pleasure of working on together with Lucy Noguera, author of SWOP The Satsuma-Sized Secret. This interview gives you further insight into the book, and I would like to extend my thanks to Lucy for this brilliant feature.

  • Can you summarise SWOP the Satsuma Sized Secret for us, in three sentences or less

Swop is a miniature dog, so small he can fit in your pocket, he arrives just when Ernie really needs a friend. Although Ernie is not allowed to have any pets – even miniature ones. So he brings a whole new set of problems for Ernie!

  • SWOP is absolutely adorable, where did you get your inspiration for this tiny sized pup that is so full of character?

I have always really loved tiny things, and a miniature pet seems like the most exciting and fun miniature thing to have!

  • Ernie is the young boy that discovers SWOP in amongst his possessions, when unpacking in his new home, and delights in having a much needed companion whilst adjusting to changes in his life. What would you like readers to learn from Ernie’s experiences?

Ernie has moved house, moved town and about to start a new school. He is feeling anxious about making new friends. Many children will be able to relate to these feelings. Although it is not a sad story, it’s full of hope and this is what I would love for other children to take from reading Swop. Ernie takes the opportunities that come up for him as Swop comes along and turns his life upside down!

  • What sort of research did you have to undertake? 

I was a primary school teacher, I have three children and dogs! So lots of real life experience to draw upon. I was also a Teacher of The Deaf – which is what I wanted to incorporate some sign language in the story. Ernie’s sister, Ivy is deaf and she teaches Ernie some signs, which he then teaches Swop!

  • Do you have pet dogs at home? What is your favourite breed?

I have a very old French Bulldog called Stitch, he is the kindest dog you will ever meet. I also have a Swop of my own! He isn’t tiny but he is unique – he is an ex street dog, he came to us with 3 legs and only 1 eye and now has no eyes! Yet he is amazing and with Stitch’s help and a bit of patience from us – he can do everything he needs to do – and more!

  • Can you tell us a little about your writing routine, and what the process involved in order for readers to now have this brilliant title available in bookshops to enjoy

I wrote the first version of Swop some years ago, only in lockdown did I pick it up again, work with an editor  on improving it until it was finally published. It has taken some years to get to it being in a bookshop!

  • Will there be more of SWOP in the future? I know I am crossing my fingers that this will become a series, is that something we can look forward to?

Yes, Swop 2 is coming out later this year. It’s called Swop -The Daring Dinosaur Detective and it’s another adventure story, this time it is set in The Natural History Museum. Once of my favourite places to go in London. I have been on many school trips there and taken my own children lots. So I am really hoping that children will enjoy this one as much as I have enjoyed researching and writing it.

SWOP The Satsuma-Sized Secret is available to purchase from all good booksellers, and is priced at £6.99 (rrp).

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