I'm welcoming another great kidlit author to the blog today to discuss their journey to publication and their hopes and dreams for the future!
Check it out...
Heather Camlot is a middle-grade author, journalist, editor and translator based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Her first novel, Clutch (Red Deer Press), was named among Kirkus reviews Best Middle-Grade Historical Fiction of 2017 and is a 2018 Skipping Stones Honor Award winner. In 2020, two new books hit the shelves: the nonfiction What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows? (Owlkids Books) is out now and the novel The Other Side (Red Deer Press) will be published this fall.
What if the impossible were actually possible?
What if we turned our dreams into action?
What if our imagination could help solve real-world crises, like war, famine, and human rights violations?
Through a series of seemingly whimsical questions, this middle-grade nonfiction book introduces readers to people and organisations that are subverting violence, war, and totalitarian power. What if soldiers refused to carry weapons? What if fighter pilots dropped seeds instead of bombs? What if music could be a creative force for democracy? None of these ideas are impossible - in fact, they are all true historical examples of ideas that have been put into action. Accessible, engaging text introduces a different question and example on each spread. Evocative conceptual illustrations provide a lighthearted reminder of the power of imagination. This timely book encourages readers to think critically and dare to ask big questions, which might just change the world.
AGES: 8 to 12
Grab your copy here!
Who are you and what do you write?
Who am I? Hmm… I am a children’s book author born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, now living in Toronto, Ontario. I love writing about history, whether in fiction or nonfiction form. Delving into the research is an absolute joy. I’m also a journalist, editor, translator and mother. Many years ago, I was an entertainment reporter and I remain passionate about film, television and music.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I was working on a Top 10 list of middle-grade books for a parenting website back in 2007 and the books were all so fantastic. One book in particular, Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, really spoke to me and I thought, “You can write and publish books like this?” Suddenly I knew what to do with all the stories my head and I started writing Clutch, inspired by my family.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
Clutch earned much critical praise and award nominations, which actually freaked me out. I felt scared to write another novel – what if it was terrible? What if readers hated it? I turned to nonfiction – I am a journalist after all! – and writing What If Soldiers Fought with Pillows? was incredibly cathartic and educational in so many ways. I regained my confidence in writing and have since embarked on further nonfiction and fiction projects.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
Oddly, the answers are the same. I love doing research and I’m very prone to falling down the proverbial rabbit hole of information, digging my way through scads of documents, images, maps, etc., and coming back out with way more than I could ever use. And yet I’ll go back in again to seek out more. (I admit, it may also be a procrastination tactic.) I love finding that gem of a detail and figuring out how to use it.
Would you go back and change anything?
I would go back and give myself a pep talk to remind myself that whatever happens, I’ll be alright. Three years is a long time between projects, especially when it’s because you are pushing the writing process aside due to dread.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
I would like to still be writing about what I love in 5 and 10 years time, but perhaps I could be doing so on a sandy beach by the ocean.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Just start writing – one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page, one chapter… It doesn’t matter if you think it’s no good. You can’t edit what you don’t have.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? - Neither
Night or Day? - Day
Inside or Outside? - Outside
Dogs or Cats? - Dogs
Twitter or Facebook? - Facebook
e-book or Paperback? - Paperback
Sun or Rain? - Sun for sure
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Depends. I always carry a notebook (even around the house!), but I write drafts on my laptop.
Comedy or Drama? - Usually comedy
Chips or Chocolate? - Definitely chips
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!