Interview: Julian Clary discusses The Bolds on Holiday
Comedian, entertainer and author Julian Clary and illustrator David Roberts will be at Brighton Festival on 13 May to read two stories from the fantastically funny The Bolds series: The Bolds to the Rescue and new instalment The Bolds on Holiday! Here, Julian discusses the new The Bolds book and what inspired his book series.
Your children's books, The Bolds, have been hugely successful. How does writing for children compare to writing for adults?
It's delightful; I just have such a lovely time writing them. Making children laugh is a whole new thing for me, it's lovely. I’ve been doing lots of book events for children and it’s a delight – because they’re not pretending to laugh to please you. It’s a question of entering into that innocent world, a whole new world… it's obviously a world away from my usual filth but that’s liberating. It’s been a revelation.
Where did the inspiration come from for The Bolds?
From my childhood in Teddington. This is written from my point of view as a 7-year-old, because I used to daydream about the neighbours then, and wondered if they were animals. So when it came to writing the book I just regressed and that’s the story that came out. If you had asked me as a child what I wanted to do, it was be a writer.
I was very interested in Africa as a child and I was a member of the World Wildlife Fund. I’ve always liked hyenas, and once I heard my neighbours’ cackling laughs, I made up the story that they must be hyenas in disguise. I have always thought that animals are just as clever as humans. That’s where the story came from.
What about the new addition, The Bolds on Holiday? Why Cornwall?
I have such fond childhood memories of holidays by the sea in Cornwall, and St Ives, where I’ve set this book. It’s been so lovely to relive those happy times as I wrote this third story.
Why do you think they resonate so well with children?
It's not for me to say, really. But I think they're funny and morally sound, and very plot driven. I guess because I enjoy writing them so much that somehow comes across.
Will you continue with The Bolds or do you have a plan for a different series?
The Bolds are alive and well in my mind, so it's all about them. It's a bit like the Just William books, of which there were about 45. I feel like I can go on and on with them. Whether the public want me to or not.