I stumbled across ‘A Day with The Duchess’ book cover on twitter, and instantly wanted to find out more. I contacted the author, David Seow, to chat with him about his children’s book…
The Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di series follows the adventures of three siblings who are from Singapore; this ranges from their furry friends to an encounter with Royalty! On their Diamond Jubilee tour of South East Asia, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a stop in Singapore. Sam loves princesses, and so goes to see the Royal couple.
William and Kate greet the crowds and the children find themselves on a wild-hamster-chase when Kate, Sam’s hamster, runs away!
I personally love the style of the illustrator Soefara Jafney, and that she has used the clothes that The Duchess actually wore in Singapore for her illustrations. I’m sure you’ll love the book too!
I saw your book on Twitter David – the illustrations really caught my eye, and the fact that the story featured William and Catherine. So what made you include The Duke and Duchess in your series?
In 2012 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge came to Singapore on their Diamond Jubilee Tour. I’ve always been a huge supporter of the British Monarchy and I’m a huge William and Catherine fan, so my mum, niece and I went to Gardens the Bay in the hopes of meeting them during their walkabout there. After waiting three hours under the blazing hot sun, we were thrilled when The Duchess came over to us to have a brief chat. My niece gave The Duchess a pencil sketch and my mum gave her a copy of my children’s picture book ‘Blow A Kiss’ as a souvenir. Mum was later quoted in the London Evening Standard about her meeting with The Duchess.
I really wanted to do something to commemorate the royal couple’s visit and the idea for a story began to percolate. I orginally wrote the story with our young friends Alice and Mike Adeney as the main characters, but my editor, Sheri, suggested that I make the story part of the Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di series rather than a one-off. I did, however dedicate the book to Alice and Mike.
Do you think Prince George and the new addition to the Cambridge-clan will make an appearance in future? Perhaps Lupo too?
Yes, most definitely! George makes an appearance in ‘A Day with the Duchess’ [in illustration form]. He will be in the sequel and he’ll have a speaking role too!
How do you decide on what the trio will get up to?
When I babysat my niece and nephews every Friday night, I made up stories about them at bedtime and these stories turned into the Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di series. They used to get up to all kinds of mischief and the books are based on their catalogue of misadventures.
So the characters are based on your nieces and nephews?
Yes Sam, Sebastian, Jeremy (Di-Di-Di) and Alexander (Xandy) who is featured as their new baby brother in the first pages of ‘A Day with The Duchess’. He’ll have a prominent role in the rest of the series.
What is next on the agenda for Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di, and maybe Xandy too?
I am currently working on a sequel to ‘A Day with The Duchess’. It’s set in London and William, Kate and George will be in the story. Lupo might make an appearance along with a corgi or two, and there might even be a surprise cameo by the new baby! I’m planning to be in London for the London Book Fair, so hopefully we’ll get the book out in time for the new baby’s arrival.
What is Sam’s hamster called?
Send your entries with the subject ‘A Day with The Duchess’, along with your answer, name and a phone number to email@example.com
David’s book is available from Epigram books here and from a Closetful of Books here for around £8 – the first 5 sold at Closetful of Books will be signed by David too! A great Christmas present for the little Prince or Princess in your life. We will announce a winner at the end of November!