I would like to welcome local children’s author Marie Godley to Jera’s Jamboree today.
Marie lives in the south of England, luckily enough near the sea. Her family and the scenery here in Dorset are the inspiration for some of her characters and stories she started writing whilst she was working in a school library. Now she writes full time, and looks after her family.
Her books range in ages from under fives to teenagers. She likes having a fantasy element to her stories because it allows the young reader to use their imagination … also she is a big kid at heart!
Thank you for joining us today.
You’ve always had a love of books and surrounded yourself with books as a library assistant after leaving school. What was your inspiration to make the transition from reader to writer?
An idea came to me for my Christmas Bear story. I decided to write it and it all snowballed from there.
Is there a reason why you have chosen to write for children and young adults? Any plans to write for the adult fiction market in the future?
Like you mentioned I’m a big kid at heart, plus I love children’s books. I spent hours reading to my kids when they were younger. No – I don’t think I’m grown up enough to write for the adult market.
I love the title The Special Christmas Bear and the illustrations look amazing. Would you tell us more?
I had a picture of Teddy in my head and the story just flowed; I wrote it in under an hour. The publishers did a great job with the illustrations, and being black and white the kids can buy the book and colour them in themselves. (what a fabulous idea!)
Teddy loves travelling around Santa’s workshop on the big blue wagon! There is so much to look at and he has lots of elf friends. But Santa has a special task for Teddy – will Teddy take it on? The Special Christmas Bear is suitable for children aged five and under.
You believe in mythical and fantasy creatures (a woman after my own heart) and they find their way into your stories. Is it difficult to merge the fantastical with believable characters?
No – the fantastical creatures are so real to me that they fit right into whatever story I’m writing.
The Guardian of the Globe’s mythical creatures include a unicorn, a troll, an evil wizard, a sorceress, a stag and a wood elf. Sounds an exciting mix of characters. Please tell us more.
I love snow globes and the idea for a child going through one into a fantasy land was one that I had to write. I try to avoid violence in my younger children’s stories so the cast of characters was essential to help Phoebe resolve the situation peacefully.
After buying a beautiful snow globe, Phoebe finds herself pulled inside! Zoozer the unicorn has been kidnapped by a troll and is being taken to the evil wizard Mishra who wants to steal his powers. Summoned by the sorceress Vivien, Phoebe must find a way to stop him. How will she trick the troll? Will she succeed? Join Phoebe and her new friends Capstan the stag and Skimpish the wood elf as they hurry to catch up with the troll and save Zoozer. The Guardian of the Globe is suitable for children aged four to eight.
How do your ideas become a story?
It could be as little as one sentence or scene that starts me off and I just write. Eventually I might have enough of an idea as to what is going to happen to enable me to write a plan but I usually end up with copious amounts of scribbled notes; which get added to as more ideas arrive.
Do you have a writing schedule? A time that you are more creative or productive?
Not really, I write whenever I can. Often when the children are at school or in the evening when the family are watching TV, I snuggle in bed, under my duvet and write; which is very cosy and my favourite place to write.
Do you have any tips you can share with my readers who may be thinking of writing?
Same as any other writer would give – keep writing, like anything it takes practise. Although I would suggest that you meet some authors online. Nobody understands writing unless they do it themselves and it can get lonely. Find someone to talk to about your experiences, plot difficulties and worries. Having someone in the same position as you helps a lot.
And finally, what is your WIP?
I’ve just completed a YA story about an air elemental so I’m looking for representation for that but in the meantime I’m revamping a story about a girl who goes to a kingdom dominated by magic, in an effort to save it because the magic is dying (and surprise, there is a boy involved)
Thank you Marie. Wishing you good fortune in finding representation for your new YA story.