One day I was reading Ezra Jack Keats picture books to some kids at school. In one, I saw a painting of a cat disappearing behind a door that had been turned on its side, and was leaning against a wall. It made me wonder what would happen if a boy opened a door to somewhere he shouldn’t? And if animals can go places people can’t?
Eventually I wrote Button Hill, and I was delighted when both of these things ended up happening in the book. You should read all of Ezra Jack Keats’ picture books. The stories are beautiful, and some of the paintings are so haunting.
I noticed when reading your book ‘Button Hill’ that at the begging of the story it was similar to ‘Coraline’, was that intended?
Hi Jennifer, great connection! I’m a big Neil Gaiman fan, and I remember reading Coraline when it first came out. What a creepy book! I will always remember the man with the rats who ran up and down inside his jacket – ew!
If the start of Button Hill made you think of Coraline, then maybe I’m on the right track as a writer!