It's a very happy book birthday to today's author guest! I'm thrilled to welcome this multi-published and all around fabulous person to talk about their writing journey and latest title!
Here we go...
Clare is a children’s author living in the UK and writes both fiction and non-fiction picture books, plus early readers, too. She is passionate about using creativity and the arts to promote a love of learning and emotional well-being. Her newest book, with Asa Gilland and Little Tiger, is about ‘homes from homes’ and finding ‘shelter’ in difficult times. ‘The Perfect Shelter’ is based on Clare’s personal experience with cancer and publishes on 25th June. Clare is represented by Alice Williams of Alice Williams Literary.
Illustrated by Asa Gilland and publishing with Little Tiger Press.
The Perfect Shelter is a powerful and uplifting story, exploring the complicated emotions we feel when someone we love is diagnosed with cancer.
‘At first nobody knew. Then they told me my sister was sick. But together we’ll ride out the toughest storms. Because today is the perfect day to build a shelter… and be together.’
Who are you and what do you write?
Hi! I’m Clare – a children’s author and primary school teacher living in the South West of England. I write picture books, sometimes funny and sometimes lyrical, but I always hope to bring a little added something to story time. I also write early readers and reading scheme books – my teaching experience comes in very handy here.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I’ve always been creative and experimented with mosaics, sculpture, collage, painting and almost every kind of craft over the years. I even got into lampshade making a few years ago! I didn’t fall in love with writing until I became a teacher. It was then that I started being creative with words; using books and the power of imagination to teach children about the world. Plus, I read many, many books aloud, which gave me a good idea of what children love (and what they don’t).
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
Joined SCBWI, found a brilliant critique group, won a Margaret Carey Scholarship to attend a SCBWI Conference, got chatting to a publisher, got my first publishing deal, returned to the conference, met my agent…. and everything snowballed from there! (With hard work and determination, of course).
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
To be honest, I’m relatively new to the industry so I feel very grateful and lucky to be a small part of it. Of course, it isn’t very nice when manuscripts don’t get picked up… but there’s usually a good reason and I’m always striving to create my best work. The most enjoyable? That’s even harder to answer! There’s SO many good bits for me. One of my favourite parts of the process is seeing something I created in my head come to life in illustrations.
Would you go back and change anything?
Nope! I’m happy as a pig in mud!
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
I know it sounds cheesy… but it would be a dream to be doing exactly what I am now! Creating books that people want to publish and read, with healthy and happy family and friends to share them with.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Don’t. Give. Up! (But do take breaks when you need to)
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? Neither
Night or Day? Both!
Inside or Outside? Outside
Dogs or Cats? Dogs
Twitter or Facebook? Twitter
Ebook or Paperback? Paperback
Sun or Rain? Sun
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? Keyboard
Comedy or Drama? Drama
Chips or Chocolate? Chocolate
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!