1) Why children’s books? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
I think it was a mixture of the two. As a child I would create short stories so writing fiction has always been a part of my life. However I started writing non-fiction in the form of how-to craft books, as my background is an art/craft teacher. My first published picture book just sort of happened. I had an idea, I wrote it and sent it off. I received a rejection – not a surprise really. But it was a hand written one. The editor liked my style but not the story and asked if I had anything else. She suggested what they were looking for. So I worked on a new story that fitted her needs and that finally became ‘A Book For Bramble’ – my first published picture book.
2) Is there a children’s author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly?
I read the staples of childhood B Potter – Enid Blyton and the like but I don’t think any really inspired me. However as an adult I discovered I’d like to write like Terry Pratchett and Paul Stewart. As well as the following authors, who I now consider friends: Abie Longstaff: http://www.abielongstaff.com/ Liz Kessler: http://www.lizkessler.co.uk/ Malachy Doyle: http://www.malachydoyle.com/mdpage1.html
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
I’ve just finished two new picture book stories. The first was written in rhyme, something I tell my students to try to avoid as rhyme is difficult to place. However the rhyme just evolved as I was writing the story, so I took this as a sign and went with it. This has been sent off to my editor and I’m waiting on a reply. The second needs a second set of eyes to read it before I send it off. These eyes will be some picture book writing friends. Together we write http://picturebookden.blogspot.co.uk/ We also support one another in a variety of way but also by reading each others work and offering suggestions on how to improve. I also have an idea for another story which I’m just about to start work on. The story has a few holes in it but once I get it onto paper I find the holes start to fill themselves.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
I’ve had 21 books traditionally published and have a new title due out in August and have never had an agent, I’ve always dealt with publishers direct. I think I was extremely lucky because I’d written for magazines for a couple of years then contacted a publisher and my first book was taken on. I believe this was because I’d already proved I could write, meet deadlines and come up with the ideas. I have had many books turned down but my hit rate is pretty good. I think it’s just a question of believing in yourself and being determined enough to keep knocking on doors.
5) What’s your opinion about this E-book revolution? Would you consider the indie route?
I have already dipped my toe into the eBook pond. Two years ago my partner and I set up Mad Moments Media Ltd and 11 of my picture books were turned into apps (first link below) and late last year we turned four of my picture books and a collection of retold African tales into eBooks (second link below). The African tales eBook (Anansi the Trickster Spider) is shortly going to be followed by a second collection (the mss is at the proofreaders/editors at the moment) and I am working on a new website to compliment these two books. This website will contain free downloads that can be accessed via a code contained in the books and will contain colouring sheets, word searches, games, cross words etc. that are connected to the stories. Apps: http://search.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZContentLink.woa/wa/link?path=apps%2fMadMomentMedia eBooks: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=mad+moment+media+ltd&x=0&y=0
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
I would prefer just to be a writer but understand the need to use social media. So I blog (on the sites below) and tweet (@lynnegarner). However I have found by doing this my writing has improved and I’ve also made some new writing friends. http://awfullybigblogadventure.blogspot.co.uk/ – blog of the SAS (Scattered Authors Society) of which I am a member http://fuelledbyhotchocolate.blogspot.co.uk/ – my own blog http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/ – A group of authors who have all published eBooks http://picturebookden.blogspot.co.uk/ – as already mentioned a group of 10 picture book writers BIO I started writing non-fiction for craft magazines in 1997, starting with my own column in Popular Crafts. In 1999 I had my first book published – Rubber Stamping with Other Crafts. Since that time I’ve had 21 books published and have a new title due in August of this year. My books are a mix of adult craft titles, children’s activitiy and picture books. I’ve also had 11 books turned into apps and now have 5 books available on Amazon as eBooks. I teach a range of distance learning writing course for http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/WOWclasses.html I also provide 1-2-1 coaching for aspiring authors. I recently started to do author visits where I concentrate on my picture books (for younger children) or share my experiences as an author (with older children). I can be contacted via my website – www.lynnegarner.com
Info about the author:
I started writing non-fiction for craft magazines in 1997, starting with my own column in Popular Crafts. In 1999 I had my first book published – Rubber Stamping with Other Crafts. Since that time I’ve had 21 books published and have a new title due in August of this year. My books are a mix of adult craft titles, children’s activitiy and picture books. I’ve also had 11 books turned into apps and now have 5 books available on Amazon as eBooks. I teach a range of distance learning writing
course for http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/WOWclasses.html I also provide 1-2-1 coaching for aspiring authors. I recently started to do author visits where I concentrate on my picture books (for younger children) or share my experiences as an author (with older children). I can be contacted via my website –
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