What has changed in your life since we last spoke?
I have become a children's author! Writing humorous books for children has always been an ambition of mine and earlier this year, I made it happen by releasing my début children's title, 'The Troll Trap'. I
didn't think it would be possible to love anything more than the work I was already doing (writing of adults) but actually, writing children's books can be even more enjoyable.
However, I have not abandoned my adult readers - I have one particular story that can only be written in an adult context. This title will be announced shortly.
Have you leant any new wisdom?
Until I nipped into Waterstones to measure the size of fonts in children's books, I had no idea that books for my target audience have pictures at the start of every chapter. After a bodged attempt at drawing my own illustrations, I realised I needed to enlist the help of a professional. Having always created my own book covers, I'd never worked with an artist before. I was delighted to get the opportunity to work with talented illustrator and author, Katie W. Stewart. I found the experience very rewarding and readers love the
illustrations. I'm so glad that I realised I needed pictures just in the nick of time.
Have you become a better writer? If so, how?
Experience had helped me improve some skills. I find it much easier to plan now and need far fewer redrafts than when I started out. Branching into children's books has given me to opportunity to develop more diverse skills, but it's hard to switch between child and adult writing modes when I need to. I keep accidentally writing 'yarb' in my books for adults, which is troll for 'yes'.
What are you working on at the moment?
My imagination keeps trying to plot 'Trolls on Skis' but I'm trying to be disciplined and finish a short story aimed at adults, because I need to look after my existing readers as well working on expanding my young readership.
Tell us about your latest release and how we can find out more.
Book 2 in the Smelly Trolls series has just been released for Kindle. It's called 'Mr Splendiferous and the Troublesome Trolls'. The characters from 'The Troll Trap' go on a school trip to a science park run by a man who is completely bonkers. They rapidly find themselves surrounded by trolls and have to escape. It's ideal for anybody who enjoyed 'The Troll Trap'. It can be read in isolation but I recommend reading the books in order to get the full build up.