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Q&A with Jon Blake, author of Thimble Monkey Superstar

Welcome to the first in a weekly series of chats with the brilliant authors of our Dragonfly series of books for younger readers. We start with Jon Blake, author of the amazing Thimble Monkey Superstar!

Where did you get the idea for Thimble?

Thimble started as a fake news story on one of my websites about a poor little girl who got eaten by a sea turtle at one of my book launches leaving me to look after her pet monkey.

Why is he so mean to Dad?

Dad just sees Thimble as competition for his partner Nora's affections and never gives him a chance, so he really brings it on himself!

Why did you decide to base the main character, Jams, on your son
Jordi, who also has cerebral palsy?

I'm always writing with Jordi and discussing ideas with him, so it just seemed natural to base a character on him - though he's only a bit like Jordi really.

Who wrote and performed the Thimble song?

I wrote the song and played all the instruments - music has always been as important as writing to me. Jordi sang it with his usual enthusiasm.

Listen to the song here.

When did you start writing and which are your favourites of the books
that you've written?

I wrote my first novel at 21 and was first published about ten years later. Before Thimble I suppose my favourites were Stinky Finger's House of Fun and the series that followed this book.

Which books by other authors do you like?

My first favourite was The House at Pooh Corner, followed by Professor Branestawm and Finn Family MoomintrollHuckleberry Finn was also a huge influence on me. Amongst modern writers my favourite is Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Can you tell us anything about the next Thimble book: Thimble Holiday Havoc?

We have been on many home exchange holidays where we have been terrified of damaging the houses we've been in. Thankfully we didn't have a manic monkey with us, but in my imagination ... well, you'll just have to read it.