top of page
Screen Shot 2022-06-16 at 3.21.57 PM.png
BLOG
  • Writer's pictureLittle Thoughts Press

Interview: Hazel Knox


A photograph of Little Thoughts Press Issue Six: Fantastical Fall with a sneak peek of the poem "Spotted" by Hazel Knox.

A white page with black text and a graphic of a mermaid's tale disappearing into water.

 

Hazel Knox is a children’s writer and occupational therapist based in Edinburgh. She is a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awardee and her poetry has been published in The Toy, Paddler Press, in a ghost stories anthology published by Crowvus, and online at dirigibleballoon.org. Find her on Twitter @hazel_knox.

 

Little Thoughts Press: One thing I really enjoyed about your poems "Scorch the Dragon" and "Spotted" is the way you use comical, unexpected turns to bring humor and lightness to these pieces. What guidance would you offer to other writers on how to incorporate humor and playfulness into their work? 


Hazel Knox: For me, I write with humour when I feel playful. I’m learning not to force it when I don’t feel that way, or a topic doesn’t evoke that in me. To get myself in a playful place I spend time with children—the fun experts! I also find reading funny poems and stories can wake up my own sense of humour.



Little Thoughts Press: And at times when the world feels especially heavy, how do we strike a balance between offering young readers an approachable but serious look at life's difficulties, and providing fun, joyful distractions through our stories and poetry?


Hazel Knox: Both are important but I think sometimes the value of funny for funny’s sake is underestimated. Reading something that tickles us feels good and that alone has huge benefits. Humour can also be a distraction from difficult things and learning to give yourself that break is a useful skill. 



Little Thoughts Press: Issue 6: Fantastical Fall is all about imagination and adventure, things that children more naturally and easily gravitate toward than adults often do. What techniques do you use to tap into your imagination and maintain a childlike sense of wonder and exploration when writing for a young audience? 


Hazel Knox: Definitely spending time around children, especially if you can create situations where you’re not in charge. I also find the more I’m writing, the easier it is to look at things from a child’s point of view—writing feeds my wonder habit! 


Little Thoughts Press: What do you find most challenging and rewarding about writing for a young audience?


Hazel Knox: Most challenging is probably coping with the rollercoaster of acceptances and passes, and maintaining my confidence through that.


Most rewarding is when someone finds my work funny—it’s the biggest compliment you can give me.



Little Thoughts Press: Which kid-lit authors and books were your favorites growing up?


Hazel Knox: I loved The Borrowers by Mary Norton and must have re-read The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett ten times. I also used to enjoy a series based on a TV programme called Children’s Ward. I really wanted to be a patient in hospital—I’ve got three brothers and I wanted some attention!




Little Thoughts Press: And what about today? Any kid-lit writers you love and want to shout out?


Hazel Knox: How many can I shout about?!


I’m very grateful to Jen Carney for writing books that make my daughter cackle with laughter.


Barbara Henderson writes brilliant Scottish historical fiction for middle-grade readers and is a huge supporter of other authors, whatever stage they’re at. 


I really like the everyday observations and gentle humour in Attie Lime’s poems, and appreciate her generosity in sharing her workshop ideas. 



Little Thoughts Press: What advice would you give to young writers?


Hazel Knox: Write about what you like and don’t worry about spelling.



Little Thoughts Press: Is there anything else you wish I had asked? Any upcoming projects, publications, or other news you'd like to share?


Hazel Knox: I’m delighted to be able to say my debut chapter book, The Night Pixie, is coming out later this year with HB Publishing House. It features a curious night pixie experiencing day for the first time, and I can’t wait to share her chaotic adventures with readers.










2 Comments


KentuckyJessica
KentuckyJessica
Feb 09

Excellent interview! Can't wait to read more from Hazel in the future!

Like

Kimberly Horch
Kimberly Horch
Feb 09

What a cute poem!

Like
bottom of page