Hilary Hawkes, Author of The Little Chestnuts Wood Stories, Strawberry Jam Books
Meeting authors is one of my favorite things about blogging kids’ books, and Hilary is no exception. Connecting with her and reading her journey of connecting with kids through her stories is inspirational. May her story inspire you too in your own aspirations to help others:
When did you begin writing children’s book manuscripts?
I started thinking up and writing stories when I was about eight years old. But maybe those don’t count! In my teens I wrote book length books, maybe a bit too long. I had some short stories published when I was 19. My breakthrough with children’s books came 14 years ago.
What was the first book you got published and with which publishing agency?
My first children’s books titles were There’s a Grandad in my Soup and Lightning Reads. My agent then was Pollinger.
How many books have you written that are published?
Traditionally mainstream published: eight.
Total with Strawberry Jam Books: over twenty.
Which of your books is your favorite and why?
Beyond Violet is my favourite so far. Ellie’s life was a bit like mine so I was writing from the heart.
What was the inspiration for your main character of your favorite book?
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I’m still trying to work that out. They just seem to land in my thoughts. Life experiences also have a lot to answer for.
How long did it take you to write, edit, and publish your first book?
I think the whole process with my very first children’s book was nearly a year from starting writing, editorial changes, admiring the illustrator’s work, proof reading and waiting for publication day.
What advice can you share with children reading your books?
You can discover so much about yourself and about what other children’s lives are like through stories.
What advice can you give to those of us who are working to write and publish children’s books?
Always write from the heart. Take notice of editors’ and others’ advice and feedback. Be willing to make changes. Persevere.
What are three hobbies/interests you have besides writing?
I love walking in beautiful and peaceful places. Dance and exercise classes. Reading.
Merry Christmas, Little Owl: http://wp.me/p4m4Tu-xc
Strawberry Jam Books produce stories and resources for children from preschool to 12 that promote acceptance of differences or disabilities and understanding of ourselves and others.
The Little Chestnuts Woods series are stories about 26 characters from the woods. From Annie Ant to Zen the Wren, the stories are about friendship, caring, helping others and getting along with others.
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