It's been an interesting few weeks since The Whicharts came back from the printer and went out to the readers. I'm pleased that people want to read it and I was certainly nervous about their reactions. People have been kind enough to email lovely comments about the book, the design and thanks for bringing it back into print. That's why I'm here really, to thank everyone who has helped me become a publisher and bookseller.
I think it's a fascinating book about 1920s London and I'm quite happy to read The Whicharts and Ballet Shoes as completely different books - reading one doesn't spoil the other for me. Noel Streatfeild had quite a success with The Whicharts and I don't suppose she would be known as the author of so many classic books for children without it. That said, there is a real contrast between her books for children and adults. Much of her adult fiction is considerably darker in tone than the bright, positive The Painted Garden and Ballet Shoes, though these books weren't reprinted quite so often.
As someone who sympathised with Petrova in Ballet Shoes, but laughed to hear of her sending her scholarship student (Mark - Curtain Up) a screwdriver as a present as they were always useful, I think it's interesting to see a version of her three sisters grow up.