Copyright Clancy Tucker (c)
Quote of the day:
"When I repress my emotions,
my stomach keeps score."
Today I introduce you to a website that also promotes other creators - Creative Kids Tales - organised by Georgie Donaghey. It's a site that featured me as a guest for August 2012, and today it is celebrating a birthday. So, what is it and what does it do? Let's ask Georgie ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR WEBSITE’S JOURNEY.
Creative Kids Tales was launched in 2011 with 5 emerging authors on the site. We are proud to say the list of emerging authors we are helping has grown to 35. This month we are happy to extend our list to include children’s illustrators. What started as a ripple is now making waves in the children's writing industry. In our first year we were invited to be a Partner with the National Year of Reading. We average 46,000 hits per month and on 1 December we were archived under the National Library's Pandora archives. Pretty impressive for our first year.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF YOUR WEBSITE?
We aim to give a voice to emerging children's authors. Our website contains a complete directory of the services, tools and resources emerging authors need to help them in their writing endeavors. It also gives up and coming authors network opportunities and advice from some of this country’s best professional authors. Most importantly they have a place to display their work enabling publishers to peruse their submissions at anytime. Best of all it's free! We do charge our authors, illustrators or advertisers to be a part of our website.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE A WEBSITE?
I’m a helper, always have been. For a few years I ran a local branch of the CBCA. After it folded I saw a need in the market for a website that promotes emerging children's authors. I wanted to create a site that provides emerging authors with resources, information and tools to use on their journey to publication. Basically a one-stop shop. With a lot of research and dedication Creative Kids Tales was born.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Taking a blank piece of paper and creating an adventure. Then watching little readers take the journey that I etched out.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Taking a blank piece of paper and creating that adventure!
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOUR WEBSITE?
A dreamer! Now I live that dream with Creative Kids Tales. Seriously, I was/am just another writer tapping away at the keyboard searching for the tools we have under one site.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT PROMOTING OTHERS?
I love watching our emerging authors grow and reach their goal of publication. I love the complete package we offer them. I love that we can offer the service free of charge.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Something very exciting, an Australian first! It will benefit both published and emerging children’s authors. If I can get it all together it will happen next year. Just need to get some funding tied up and then it’s all systems go. Very exciting! Sorry, that’s all I can tell you for now. Keep watching this space...
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
My kids are my biggest inspiration. When a new character comes to life I find little traits in that character that match one of my children’s personalities. I can't explain it, but when a character comes into my head its like a gift. Together we get to know each other in my head, watching them try on different personalities etc. Once they blossom I start the writing journey with them. I only started writing in the children's genre after my son was born 14 years ago.
ARE YOU A WRITER?
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
Children’s. Mainly chapter books but have dabbled in a few picture books. Whenever I get an idea, a workable one, I see where it would best fit. My first manuscript was actually a murder mystery. When I read it now I realise the children's genre is a better fit for me but it's fun to revisit your first work sometimes.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Yes, visit Creative Kids Tales! We have advice from published authors, writing tips, competition information, publisher contacts, loads of emerging authors and now illustrators too. There is a section called ‘Pitch ya book!’ which gives the opportunity for both mainstream and self published to pitch their book. We also have a new section for emerging authors to sell their stories to publishers under the ‘Tell us a story’ page. Everything you need on your journey to publication.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
I don’t look at it as writer’s block but I do stumble along the way. The best thing I find is to be patient and wait for the next character to introduce themselves to me. Has never been too long, thank heavens!
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
I wish! Write when and where I can basically. Although since starting Creative Kids Tales much of my time is spent interviewing, writing content, marketing and promoting it. Unfortunately my writing has suffered a little but I love the journey I am on.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
Somewhere quiet, although with three kids, 14yrs, 6 yrs and 19 months that place no longer exists in my house. I try to write on the train going to and from my day job.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
Creating characters and getting to know them as if they were my children.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
I have too many children’s ones to mention. In the adult genre I like to escape with James Patterson. His Alex Cross series has had my attention since Along Came A Spider. Nothing like relaxing with a little murder mystery J
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER OF YOUR WEBSITE?
Probably the best comments I have had have been the encouraging words from the professional authors I have interviewed such as, Jackie French, Mem Fox, Andy Griffiths, Deborah Abela to name a few. To hear them say they wished my site had been around when they were starting out is very flattering. It cements the fact we are on the right track and making a difference in emerging author’s journeys. It’s a great feeling.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
I haven’t had one so far.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Yes, the character I created for my son experienced bullying at school just as my son did. I turned those bullies into evil characters in the book and had fun watching as the hero of the story defeated them and came out stronger for it. Just as my son did in his life.
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
My kids are my life. I love playing hairdressers with my girls, having a conversation with my teenage son when we are not yelling at each other, spending time with my husband. I enjoy pottering around the garden, a few story ideas have developed with battling some big weeds. Last but not least reading.
IF YOU HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TO THE ENTIRE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? Embrace emerging authors, especially local authors. We want to ensure future generations enjoy stories from their own backyard and not have to rely just on overseas authors to fuel their imaginations. Also, don’t let printed publications be taken over completely by the digital age. There is nothing more exciting than hiding under a blanket with a torch and reading a new adventure. Kids need that excitement.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Morning cuddle with the kids and then write, write and write. Bedtime cuddle and write some more. Now if I could only figure out a way to have the housework fairies stop by for a little cleaning that would be great.
WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST ASSETS AS A WRITER?
My characters and how they choose me to tell their story. I love every part of the process from that exciting first stage of feeling like you standing on a cliff top, the wind blowing gently on your face and not knowing what will happen next. To that first meeting and walking alongside them as they tell you their story. I couldn’t imagine not being a writer.
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE IT TO BE? WHY?
Clint Eastwood. He is a gifted storyteller, director, Hollywood legend and a gentleman. I think the stories he could tell would melt away the hours and forget the fact that I was on an island.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
To be able to bring all the exciting ideas I have for Creative Kids Tales to fruition. I have lots of them.
Thanks Clancy Tucker for allowing me to share a little of myself on your blog. I look forward to meeting your readers at Creative Kids Tales.