Very privileged to have been interviewed by Thomas Edwards from the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) recently. The broadcast ended up gaining a worldwide audience and resulted in me receiving genuinely humbling messages throughout the subsequent few days. Despite getting up at 5am, Thomas made it such an entertaining morning. I’ve wanted to share this with you for a while now, so, here you go!
The tale I’m reading through the segues is: #74 – The Tale of a Sandcastle Built For One
THOMAS EDWARDS’ ABC RADIO INTERVIEW WITH GREGG SAVAGE [5 Minutes]
The Daily Tales of Gregg Savage: www.greggsavage.net
Sneaky link to Thomas’ awesome YouTube Page. He blogs and vlogs about his travels with his family around the northern parts of Queensland and is just an all-around awesome guy: Check him out! https://www.youtube.com/user/tomedwards81
GREGG: It all came about because I was telling one of the step-kids a story every night, and I thought I should be documenting this so that at least she could go back, and we could say these are the stories that we made up. So, I threw together a bit of a website to store them and it spiralled out of control from there. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we did one every day for a year?”
INT: Well, it must be incredibly challenging, how do you find the inspiration?
GREGG: Well, I’m a teacher, so I teach students with disabilities and I get to see the kids running around all the time so there’s some inspiration there. Also, just everyday things. A lot of the tales are trying to put a bit of an alternative spin on how you might see different things. I’ve got tales about gnomes having a battle with other gnomes next door, so you might drive past some gnomes and go, “Ahhh, there was that cool tale about that.” Even for us as a family and me as the writer, I’ve been thinking about and looking at things differently and simply based on the tales I’ve written and ones that I might write. There’s a tale that’s just about a feather floating around and not being able to find its place in the world, so when I see a feather now, I’m like oh that’s cool.
I’ve created a world where these tales take place and there are recurring characters and events as well. I’ve got rules within that world as well: What can happen and can’t happen and what sort of objects the characters will interact with as well. It makes it a lot easier to write if I’ve got those boundaries.
INT: And, when you began did you have a bank of tales that you drew on or were you starting literally from scratch, from the beginning?
GREGG: Yeah, I started from scratch, you know, from the beginning. I had one tale, The Tale of Princess Ruby, it’s about this princess and she wakes up and she’s in this enormous castle and the castle is so enormous that she doesn’t actually know where she is. She wakes up and she’s like, “I have no idea where I am.” Yeah, so, it’s all made up on the day. Usually from a note or something I’ve kept in my phone about an idea, but it’s all just evolved from that very first tale.
INT: You said to me before this interview that you were feeling quite tired. Has there been the odd night where you’ve really struggled to come with something it’s been a late one?
GREGG: Yeah, I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it at the moment. There have been two tales that I published at 11:59pm and those two tales have been pretty popular, which is really cool. So, yeah, it has been challenging. Some of the tales come to me really easily. I’ll just be going through the day and I’ll go, “Oh, that’s what I’m writing about today.” There’s a lot of tales like that so that’s quite good because I get an early night!
INT: Who’s reading these tales?
GREGG: Yeah, that’s really exciting. There are well over 200 people every day visiting the website. Originally, there were a lot of adults saying hey this is kind of cool. And, now, I’m getting a lot of parents who are saying, “I’m reading these every night to my kids. Please keep it up, they’re loving it.” The other cool thing is that they can go back and read the other tales as well, so they can get through two or three a day.
But, the statistics around the countries is really interesting as well. There are a lot of people from, like, India. I don’t know why, but it’s great that I’ve got a few fans in India and they message me and say this is great, keep it up. They’ll then share me on their websites. I’ve had a few schools message me and say they’re using the tales in their classroom as well. There’s a lot of readers in Africa, as well. It’s been really great tracking it and getting those messages, so it’s been really fun.
INT: Now, children are notoriously the toughest critics of all, have you ever had constructive feedback from your own?
GREGG: Ah yeah, there’s an 8 and a 10-year-old at home. I don’t pressure them to read them, you know. I don’t want to be waking up every morning going, “Have you read it, have you read it?” But, they take the time and read them and tell me whether or not they like them or whether or not they found the tale a bit confusing. Becuase, sometimes I explore sort of darker topics. Because life isn’t always lollipops and rainbows, so it doesn’t always work out for the main character. And I quite like that, too. You kind of get a bit tired of reading stories where they just walk off into the sunset and everything’s fine. My job then is to try and make you feel sorry for the main character when things don’t work out.
INT: Could a potential book in the pipeline?
GREGG: Yeah, definitely, look, I think a couple of the tales would be really great stand-alone books, but, the goal at the moment, around work and around family and around, you know, eating, I’ve got to make sure that the stories come first. That I don’t sit behind my computer and go, “Oh, this would be cool to try!” and record audio and that sort of stuff. I tried it for a while, I tried making YouTube videos, but it just detracts from the tales.
I write and publish a new children’s tale every day
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