We were super-excited to catch up with Hollywood actress and children’s author Isla Fisher this week, to ask her all about her new book, ‘Marge In Charge’. We ask Isla about the inspiration behind her first fiction title released this summer, as well as find out what else she’s up to. Get your copy of Marge In Charge, available in Waterstones and other bookstores now.
What are your three top tips for any budding children’s fiction writers out there?
1) Have an agent who is passionate about your idea.
2) Het lucky with a brilliant editor who keeps an open dialogue with you.
3) Start writing without the pressure of it trying to be “perfect”.
What were your favourite books to read as a child?
Winnie-the-Pooh is my favourite book character. He is adorable – a lovable idiot. I still laugh when I read his lines to my kids, no matter how many times I’ve heard them. A A Milne is one of my favourite children’s authors, along with Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and Dr Seuss – the usual suspects.
At what point did you decide that children’s books were the next career step?
I started writing again because I was at a crossroad…I was pregnant and couldn’t work. I could have developed an obsession with gardening, got into pilates or had a midlife crisis. I considered all three, then decided to write!
How did you come up with Marge’s character, did you take inspiration from people you know, or from other characters?
If my two best friends had a love child, it would be Marge! One of them is like the eternal Peter Pan – in total denial about reality – and the other tells the most amazing magical stories. The Marge stories are a bit like The Cat In The Hat meets My Naughty Little Sister, two books I love to read with my children. I find kids are used to other kids misbehaving but when grown-ups do it, they find it hilarious. When Marge misbehaves it’s not in an intentional or mean-spirited way, she unlocks the other characters’ creativity.
Can we expect a series of Marge In Charge Books or will we be introduced to some new characters?
Fingers crossed for all of the above. I have really enjoyed the experience and writing isn’t as lonely as I had anticipated as I had a dialogue with my wonderful editor and I get to act all the characters out in my head!
There are going to be three books in the Marge in Charge series and of course there will be new characters and new adventures with each story!
What would be your ultimate role in any movie or TV series, past or present?
I would love to play Miss Trunchbull in Matilda. If only height wasn’t an issue! Or Lady Macbeth… but I think I would be more likely to be cast as Pippi Longstocking’s mother.
What’s next in the pipeline?
Marge and the Pirate Baby, book two in the series is going to be published on the 12th Jan 2017. I also have two films coming out before the end of the year. In Keeping Up With The Joneses, I play a bored suburban housewife married to Zach Galifianakis, I got to work with the wonderful Greg Mottola of Superbad fame. And Tom Ford, who I have been working with on Nocturnal Animals, is the dream director for me – collaborative, fiercely intelligent and a brilliant storyteller. He’s one of those people who you meet and feel instantly like an underachiever next to.
Have you got a TV series that you’re currently addicted to?
I have just begun watching Stranger Things and I am loving it.
If you had the opportunity to take a different career path what do you think you would choose?
Writing more kids’ books and acting less….
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Small, hairy and ginger.