In 1996, Isla published two novels, titled Bewitched and Seduced by Fame, with the help of her romance novelist mother, and in 2016 she published a children’s book, called Marge In Charge. Find out more about them in here and order your own copies to keep!
Isla has always been interested in writing, but enjoys acting too much to do it full-time. She “fulfils the writing urge” in her by developing material for films now – as evidenced by the screenwriting projects she has been working on. When asked about the success and popularity of her novels, Isla admits “they did really well, at that time, for me.”
“I started when I was 18 with my first book. But, before that, I was always in special writing classes after school, and I had always written. My mom wrote, and I had always wanted to be a writer. But, then I just realized that I liked to play dress up too.”
“Writing is great, but you guys all know it’s also a bit anti-social. Not anti-social, but you’re alone in a room. It’s isolating. I’ve discovered that with age. I was very young when I wrote, and I wrote with my mother, so it was more collaborative, and I had a lot of help. I really love creating characters and I love following a structure. It’s exciting, writing. Acting, you’re told where to stand, what to say and you’re always being cut out of the exciting bit, where you could go anywhere and do anything with any character. Ultimately, I’m too gregarious.”
“I suppose that acting has helped me to create strong characters that have an emotional arc, and to keep all the characters’ voices sounding different. I love acting and writing equally. I get lost in both experiences—and I get to act out all the parts in my head as I am writing.”
Whilst promoting Grimsby in 2016 Isla revealed she had written a children’s book that was to be published later that year. The series is entitled Marge In Charge, and is about an unruly babysitter. Each book will be divided into three stories, meaning there may be more than just the one book. Isla said she wrote the books for her kids “just to have a laugh with them”. The book will be edited by Matilda Johnson and illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans.
“I’m so delighted that Piccadilly Press will bring Marge in Charge to life – now that I have children of my own I see the joy and magic in their everyday lives and books are a crucial part of this. I hope together we can introduce Marge to as many family bedtimes as possible,” Isla has said. Editor Matilda Johnson stated “We’re all incredibly excited to have Isla on the list – she is one of those rare people who has a natural gift for really making people laugh. Eglantine’s illustrations are perfect for these lively stories and endearing characters.”
Isla started to promote the book in June 2016.
Isla said the development of Marge was heavily influenced by her children – “I have always loved telling stories to my children, and doing silly voices, and Marge grew from that. Once I found the voice of Marge, the stories just flowed. In my experience, all kids love it when grownups misbehave and act wacky, and the naughtier I made Marge, while still keeping her responsible, the more my children responded. I think children make wonderful editors, because they are brutally honest.” Marge is based on two of her best friends – “If my two best friends had a love child, it would be Marge. One of them is the eternal Peter Pan who is in total denial about reality, and the other tells magical, amazing tall tales”. “Since Jemima is the eldest and feels she has to be a good girl, she is the perfect straight man for readers to relate to,” Isla said, “and when Marge misbehaves and acts silly, it’s not in an intentional or mean-spirited way. Rather, she unlocks the children’s creativity and challenges Jemima’s needing to follow the rules for rules’ sake.”
“Marge is mischievous, ebullient, imaginative, kind, and fun, so when I am writing I get to live vicariously through her. As long as these stories appeal to children, I will keep writing them.”
Jemima and Jake’s new babysitter doesn’t look too promising. In fact she looks very sensible, very old and VERY small (she only comes up to daddy’s armpit!). But the moment their parents leave the house, Marge gives a mischievous wink, takes off her hat and reveals a marvellous mane of rainbow-coloured hair! Marge really is a babysitter like no other and the children spend a wild evening with her – racing snails, slurping chocolate soup and mixing potions in the bath! But if Jake and Jemima want her to babysit again it’s time for them to take charge of Marge, tidy up and settle her down for a little sleep. Three hilarious, anarchic and charming MARGE stories from A-list actress, mother, writer and comedian Isla Fisher.
About the Author
Isla Fisher began acting as a child and has worked solidly in television and film for the past 25 years. She has appeared in Home And Away, The Great Gatsby and Definitely Maybe, to name a few. She also studied in Paris to become a clown for two years before realising that there is not much call for miming ‘the wall’!
Isla has played many roles over the years, from a bonkers bridesmaid in “Wedding Crashers” to the poster girl for consumerism in “Confessions Of A Shopaholic”. But her favourite role has been being a mummy to daughters Olive and Elula and son Montgomery. Isla has been making up stories at bedtime for them every night since they were born. These books are for her children, as a reminder of all the fun they have at bedtime reading books and sharing stories.
About the Illustrator
Eglantine Ceulemans spent her childhood reading Belgian comics. In 2007 she joined the Emile Cohl School of Art in Lyon, France, transforming her passion for illustration into a vocation. She loves working in an intuitive way, combining humor and sensitivity, and using different mediums and techniques. Eglantine currently resides in Lyon.
“Isla Fisher is hilarious” – David Walliams
• More: News & Updates for Marge In Charge at Isla Fisher Web – press releases, videos and updates
Valentina, a talented young dancer, is destined to be the next Fonteyn. Manipulated by her mother’s ambitions, she has allowed Madame Galliano to dictate her life. Defying her mother, Valentina begins to search for her father in Russia, and becomes bewitched by Alexei, a Kirov dancer.
From the Author
From Sydney to Moscow, Valentina is living the fantasy. The story of a young Australian ballerina of Russian descent, who goes back to her homeland to dance like her mother never had the chance to. It is a romance for teenagers.
Isla says: “People who have read my second book say that I’ve developed a lot as a writer, and that’s great to hear.”
Jade is determined to be an actress on TV where life seems glamorous and families seem happy – unlike her own. After working as a waitress to pay for acting lessons, Jade finally gets a part in Sunshine Coast, and starts to learn about life in the limelight and the bitchiness of the studio.