We recently caught up with hilarious author, Andy Griffiths, to grill him about all things treehouse, man-eating shark tanks and Alice in Wonderland tattoos...
We’ve hung out with some pretty cool folk in our time here at HoneyKids, and can count the likes of Mister Maker, Joanne Peh and CBeebies’ star, Andy Day, among our fun interviews. This time around we’ve been catching up with the infinitely funny Andy Griffiths, all round nice bloke and hilarious author of The Treehouse series. If you have a kid age eight to 12 years, they’ll definitely know all about Andy’s antics in his awesome treehouse (there are currently 117 storeys spreading over nine stories!)…
You and Terry Denton have worked on The Treehouse collection together: how did you come to be a duo?
My first collection of books, way back, was a series of creative writing starters for the classroom, and I was basically told by my publisher that Terry would be illustrating them. Said publisher had an inkling that we had the same kind of humour. Turns out it was a brilliant decision and we’ve been working together ever since. We’re not just a duo though: my wife, Jill, is also part of the collaborative process and is our editor. Which is why we cast her as the girl who lives on the other side of the forest in the Treehouse stories… she helps us with our dilemmas in real life AND in the books!
Your Treehouse has a marshmallow machine, a library full of comics, self-making beds, a vegetable vaporiser and bowling alley amongst other things. Which would you most like in your own house?
It has to be a tank full of man-eating sharks: very useful for getting rid of guests who’ve overstayed their welcome.
Who do you draw inspo from for your stories?
The childhood greats such as Enid Blyton and Lewis Carroll have always been huge influences for me. Enid Blyton had a brilliant knack of using kids as heroes and plunging them into dangerous and exciting worlds from the go. Her novel “The Faraway Tree” was an obvious inspiration when it came to our Treehouse stories: I always loved how that tree was an endless expanse of intrigue and adventure.
Which storey is your fave story in the series?
I love them all but I do have a great fondness for The 65-Storey Treehouse. With the addition of a pet-grooming salon, a birthday room where it’s always your birthday, a room full of exploding eyeballs, a lollipop shop, a time machine and an ant farm, what’s not to love?
Did you always want to be a children’s writer?
From a very early age I just loved making people react, and I discovered I could do that by picking up a pen and drawing and writing things that got a reaction. It didn’t matter to me whether that reaction was surprise, laughter, disgust or otherwise, I just loved being the person behind that reaction. I started writing a journal when I was around 10-years-old and also started producing my own joke magazine that I would sell to kids in the school! Making a career out of a combination of writing and reactions seemed like a good idea.
Tell us five things about yourself that we probably didn’t know:
- I have a cat with one eye named Ruby.
- I live a sugar-free life (as much as possible).
- I love vegetables!
- My daughter loves writing but she’s studying psychology.
- I have tattoos on my arms from my favourite books, including Alice in Wonderland.
Thanks, Andy! And good news for big fans: the page to stage performance of The 13-Storey Treehouse is coming to Singapore in September: whoop, whoop!
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