Wednesday August 15, 2012
This week we caught up with BBC broadcaster, journalist
and writer Sally Magnusson, who has written a children's book
starring a haggis! Sally and her TV producer husband Norman Stone,
who illustrated the book, will be appearing at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Saturday 25th
August, together with the book's star Horace the
What made you
decide to write a children's book?
I have five children and when they were younger we all sat down
and came up with the sort of story they enjoyed - full of fun
characters, laughs and a little bit of fear.
What gave you the inspiration to write the book with the
main character as a haggis?
The book was inspired by the animals who live around us in the
Scottish countryside, but I needed a character to come in from the
outside and be a little bit different. The idea of a haggis
as a live animal is a Scottish joke, of course, but it's the best
we can do for a legendary creature as not many unicorns have been
spotted north of Hadrian's Wall. I enjoyed dreaming up how a haggis
might look, getting away from the three-legged caricature which I
thought was a bit dated.
Tell us about the magpies on twitter?
When I first wrote the story a few years ago, I had Stacey and
Tracey Magpie saving the day by texting each other. I wanted
the story to feel up to date and funny. By the time the book
was about to be published, we realized that communicating on
Twitter would be even more up to date and, for a couple of birds,
much more funny.
Do you like entertaining at home, and if so, what is
your signature dish?
I'm not much of a cook, as my long-suffering children will tell
you. My signature dish is probably pasta with a tomato and
garlic sauce made in about five minutes flat.
Do you think the book will help make the haggis famous
Wouldn't that be fun? I have plans for Horace to visit
America in a future book, so you never know.
We have a signed copy of Horace and the Haggis
Hunter to give away, visit the Win Things page of our website
Have you got a clever idea for a children's
book starring a haggis? Send us your thoughts via