Once upon a time in England there was a Kiwi girl. She was unsatisfied with her job peeling onions at a factory in Norfolk and yearned for a better life were she could harness her untapped artistic potential and unleash all her pent up rhymes. One day when she realized she had no tears left to cry for the onions she packed up and moved to Spain, fell in love with a handsome Systems Administrator, had two kids, became a children’s author and lived happily ever after.
Born in New Zealand, currently lives and works in Spain.
What inspires you to write?
As most children’s authors with kids will say, my children are an endless source of inspiration. I write books that I think will make them smile, laugh, frown with curiosity, make silly noises and shout out with exaggerated enthusiasm. They let me know what they find most interesting about the world. Now I write books for very young readers. I wonder if I will write for older kids as mine grow up.
Tell us about your writing process
Well, I can’t say I follow a pattern. The actual story or text could start with anything; a character, a story line, a drawing style or something I would like to see in a kid’s book. Sometimes it’s just a group of words that I think are amusing. Then, there is usually a flurry of writing of whatever enters into my head, often producing tangents to other book ideas and I just follow the train until it stops. My first book MONKEY STUFF, I wrote in Spanish then I illustrated it by hand in ink and watercolours then added colour and texture digitally. Then, I wrote the English version so I had to write a translation of the first book which also had to rhyme, and it had to fit the images I had already created. ALL IN A JAM I did the process in reverse. The translation is always more difficult than the original.
How do you think writing for children and young adults is different from writing for an adult audience?
One of the biggest differences is that you are writing for readers with a different intellectual and emotional level than your own, which means you have to step back and think, how will this be perceived seen through children’s eyes? Also, parents are the ones who choose books for their children. Their tastes, sensibilities and expectations are very different from their children’s so you have two audiences for your books.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I never even considered traditional publishing. When I found out about the possibility of publishing my own books on demand I thought – That’s me! I am proud of what I have achieved so far. The best tools and platforms to use to produce, sell and promote your work entirely depend on your individual situation but there are a lot of forums and helpful resources for every obstacle you encounter.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Children’s picture books still have and I think always will have much more relevance in physical fom than novels for example and this is also true for most other types of books. The tactile experience of reading for children is very important especially for the very young, but surprisingly children’s ebooks are becoming more and more popoular and they are fantastic for authors because they give us the chance to give away our books for free if we so desire and keep the prices affordable because there are no direct production costs, making it much easier for us to get our books into the hands of readers. At the end of the day that is our goal!
What genres do you write?
Children’s picture books, 0 – 5
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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