Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)
Quote of the day:
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself."
- Guest Author
Today I welcome an Australian lady who calls herself an 'Author & Shoe Diva' - Michelle Worthington. Michelle has two boys, but finds time to write. Welcome Michelle. Tell us more ...
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I have always wanted to be a writer. My first picture book, The Bedtime Band, is based on a poem I wrote when I was in Grade 5. When my children were little, I read a book to them every night to help them get to sleep, and I love reading books myself. I think that helps to make me a better writer.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Stories pop into my head at very strange times and places, so I have a pen and notebook with me at all times. I wrote The Pink Pirate for my neice Georgia. When I was her age, I had a vivid imagination, just like her. My world was full of dress ups, make believe and books, unlike a lot of the other girls my age. The message I want to share through the pink pirate is you can be anything you want to be, as long as you believe in yourself. Also, never underestimate the power of pink.
The Bedtime Band is a picture book I wrote for my sons, Jordan and Cody. It tells the story of what the animals in the bush get up to when we are sleeping. I love this story because it has a musicality and beat to it and the illustrations are beautiful. Sandra Temple is an award winning wildlife artist and I we are working on another book together to be released in 2013 called Possum Olympics.
My third children's picture book is called Yellow Dress Day and was released in September this year. It is written for a little girl called Ava who has Rett Syndrome and proceeds from the sale of the books will go to the International Rett Syndrome Foundation. My stories are like the ones I used to read when I was young. They may have what could be described as an old fashioned style, but they have a timeless message. I get my story ideas from my children, from talking with other children, beautiful places and things and from my life experience.
All my books are available at my website www.michelleworthington.com
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
Being a busy Mum of two boys and working full time, I don't get a lot of time to sit still. But I write in little pockets of time during the day or at night when the boys have gone to bed. I don't have a very good memory so when I get an idea, I need to write it down straight away.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
I love Australian authors because I think they write with a unique humour and empathy that is very rare in modern writing. Australian picture books had their golden age in the 1970's when I was growing up. Mem Fox's "Possum Magic" illustrated by multi award winning artist Julie Vivas, David Cox's "Tin Lizzie" were the staples of my school and home bookshelves. "Who Sank the Boat?" by Pamela Allen , "Diary of a Wombat" by Jackie French and Alison Lester's and Margaret Wild's fabulously simple and engaging stories were to follow, including a stream of Mem Fox classics. A whole generation of Australian children like me grew up reading these books by authors establishing themselves firmly in a growing market.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Take rejection as a 'not this publisher and not now' and if you have a passion for writing, learn and share constantly with fellow authors and develop a community of like minded people who can support you to achieve your goals. Learn how to market yourself, not just your book. Developing an online presence and learning to market yourself as an author and in turn your publications is now par for the course of becoming a successful writer. All I can say to my fellow aspiring authors is to take courage from the fact that emerging Australian fiction, non-fiction and picture books are some of the best quality ever produced. The new generation write with heart and a uniquely independant voice. Never give up hope that your book could be the next 'classic'.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
My greatest compliment came from a little girl when I was doing a storytelling at my old primary school. She had a huge scowl on her face as she was being herded into the library for what she obviously thought was yet another boring author to read their silly book to her. When she saw my pink high heels, she smiled at me and said, “you are much prettier than Mem Fox.”
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
I am working on my first picture book app, called Captain Cody Catapult and the Stuck Pig, so watch this space. www.michelleworthington.com
Clancy's comment: Thanks, Michelle. Keep up the good work - CT.
I'm Clancy Tucker.