Meet Author Georgia Byng

Georgia Byng is the creator of Molly Moon and the author of Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism; Molly Moon Stops the World; Molly Moon’s Hypnotic Time Travel Adventure; Molly Moon, Micky Minus, & the Mind Machine; and the fifth hypnotic Molly Moon book: Molly Moon & the Morphing Mystery.

Georgia Byng grew up outside Winchester, England, near the river Itchen. The nearby country lane with its many cottages was where Georgia Byng first found out about characters, for it was teeming with them, and she used to interview them.

Georgia Byng now lives in a house in London full of old and new art, as her husband is the conceptual artist Marc Quinn. Marc keeps all sorts of strange things in the fridge—once he had to keep a Canadian frog in there as it was hibernating and had to be kept cold. They and their family—Tiger, Lucas, and Sky—love to travel, and their favorite destination is India.

From Georgia Byng: Writing Molly Moon

The idea for Molly Moon was born in the country in England. I was sitting at a table in my mum’s kitchen. It was a wet afternoon and the rain was pelting down outside. I was having a cup of tea and a biscuit. Paddy, the black spaniel, sat on the floor, looking longingly up.

Picking up the biscuit, I watched his eyes follow it. I took a bite. His eyes were glued to the digestive, and I moved it slowly from side to side, so his eyes swung left and right. He looked hypnotized. A funny thought sprung into my head. I wondered whether a dog could be hypnotized by an adult a child. Actually, I thought, could a child hypnotize a person? A child would have so much fun. In fact they’d be incredibly powerful. Bingo! The idea was alive.

I didn’t actually start work on Molly Moon for a year. But all through that year, my mind was tossing the hypnotism idea about. And every time it crossed my mind, it still felt exciting and like a great vehicle that would drive a story. I found myself thinking about situations where hypnotism would be very handy, and I couldn’t help concocting characters who would be funny to hypnotize. I tried to remember all the films I’d seen about hypnotism. I watched a few again. I read about hypnotists and even tried to hypnotize my friends.

I knew that Molly was going to be someone who would rise right to the top using her hypnotic powers. So I thought she should start right at the bottom. I reckoned that a dingy, cold orphanage run by an old trout would be a good bottom-of-the-heap place for Molly Moon to live, and to make matters worse for her, I decided she would be unpopular, always in trouble, and even odd-looking too.

Everyone knows or has known characters who don’t quite fit—who nasty people pick on—who underneath are very special. Molly Moon is one of these. She’s a rusty tin on the outside, but inside she’s full of diamonds. She really deserved to be catapulted away from all her troubles. She deserved a chance. And so I let Molly Moon find the incredible book of hypnotism. I let her be the heroine of my book series. And I must say, she’s been a great person to get to know. In fact I like her so much that I’m taking Molly on another adventure, in another book. But that’s a different story...