Interview with Ethel
What inspired your illustrations for Beyond the Hill?
My children, Jacob and Zoe, were the inspiration for these characters. Jacob has always been a curious child with so many questions. He loves learning new things and has always expressed how much he'd love to explore and travel the world someday. I looked to my daughter, Zoe, for the main character's look and style. She's always been a free-spirited child who loves dressing herself up and wearing pigtails.
What's your favorite picture, and why?
My favorite picture is where the little girl is talking, hanging, and playing with the tree. Children are amazing in that they do not have the same worries or cares as adults do. They easily make all types of friends, whether they're imaginary, or inanimate. In this case, her best friend is the tree.
After reading Beyond the Hill, what would you like readers to feel?
I want the readers to feel as curious and adventurous as the little girl. I want them to be open-minded to the fact that there's a big world out there with so much to see and enjoy.