The children’s book “Imaginary Fred” by Irish storytellers Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers was released this week and as you can imagine it’s just as sweet and adorable as the title. The book is about children and their imaginary friend named Fred, and it’s definitely a must read for children of all ages.
Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers were kind enough to join me for an interview this week to discuss their new book “Imaginary Fred”, they chatted about what inspired them to write it, what it was like collaborating on the book, whether or not they’ve had imaginary friends and more.
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about your new children’s book “Imaginary Fred” and what inspired you to write it?
Eoin Colfer: “Imaginary Fred’ is a book about an imaginary friend.”
Oliver Jeffers: “But it’s a play on words. Do you get it? Fred sounds like friend but it’s not.”
Eoin Colfer: “That’s how talented I am as a writer. I do that kind of word play.”
Candace Rose: You both collaborated on the book “Imaginary Fred”. What was that experience like?
Oliver Jeffers: “It was a lovely process. It was very gentle and easy and not at all what you would expect from two individuals such as ourselves who are used to getting our own way. There were no spats or hissy fits or tantrums or anything…yet!”
Eoin Colfer: “I think that’s possibly because we were on different continents at the time. You were in America and I was in Ireland…and we never met up.”
Oliver Jeffers: “We communicated through Skype, so I would do drawings and then hold them up to the camera. I’m sure there’s probably a more efficient way to do that, but it worked for us.”
Candace Rose: Did you communicate through imaginary friends?
Eoin Colfer: “Well, Oliver won’t admit that he has any imaginary friends or has ever had. He has not now and he has never had imaginary friends.”
Oliver Jeffers: “I had an imaginary no-friends because I grew up with a lot of brothers. Plenty of people in my life!”
Eoin Colfer: “I did have imaginary friends, so a long line of friends based on whichever novel I happen to be reading, so it could be Huckleberry Finn or Captain Hook or Hannibal Lecter – no, that’s not a good one.”
Candace Rose: As two of the top Irish children’s book creators on the planet, are there any future works planned for you both?
Eoin Colfer: “I think we have separate projects. We were just talking about it, we would like to do something else together maybe in a couple years.”
Oliver Jeffers: “If he’s nice to me.”
Eoin Colfer: “I have to be nice, he’s very touchy. He’s worth it though.”
Oliver Jeffers: “I’d love if I had the opportunity to work with Eoin again. We haven’t really talked about it until people have started asking us today now that the book is out. I suppose we haven’t thought about that before, but I suppose we will at one point.”
Eoin Colfer: “I think something completely different. Maybe a crime novel? I think in a few years we’ll get back in the saddle.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go to purchase the book “Imaginary Fred?”
Oliver Jeffers: “Most good book shops. All good book shops and some not so good ones should have it as well.”
Eoin Colfer: “All the usual online places. It’s actually very widely available from today on, so it should be no problem.”
Oliver Jeffers: “If you see Eoin, he’ll be standing on street corners giving them away.”
Eoin Colfer: “Not giving them away!”
Oliver Jeffers: “I’m sorry, selling them.”