Like many authors, Marion Adams started writing stories in childhood. So, it’s no surprise that she grew up to be an award-winning author! Marion is #8 on The Gittle List 2017 for Go To Sleep! (Read Aviva’s review.)
How did it feel to win a spot on The Gittle List? What was your first thought after hearing the news? I was absolutely thrilled and delighted! My first thought after hearing the news was ‘I’ve done it!’ When you enter any competition, of course, you hope that you’ll get somewhere, but to avoid disappointment, you try not to think about it too much – at least, that’s what I do. So it was a lovely surprise to win a place!
What’s you earliest memory of writing? My earliest memory of writing creatively was at school when I was about eight. The teacher pinned a color picture on the wall and told us to write about it. It was of a family and their dog having a picnic. I remember really losing myself in writing the story, and the teacher reading it out to the class afterwards. After that, I knew that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.
What is your favorite children’s book? I think it would have to be The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr, one of my children’s favorite ‘read-again’ books. Published 50 years ago, it’s a book that has stood the test of time for good reason. I love it for its gentle humor, and because it appeals to a child’s imagination with a message that something exciting, totally unexpected and even slightly dangerous could disrupt even the most ordinary of days.
Why did you decide to self-publish? What put me off submitting Go To Sleep! to mainstream publishers wasn’t so much the high chance of rejection (few publishers will take on a new children’s book author), but rather that I wanted to keep control of the whole process. It was easier than I thought because I found the amazingly talented illustrator, Sarah-Leigh Wills, and the technical side was taken care of by Nick Jones of independent publisher Full Media Ltd, who was very encouraging and supportive throughout.
Any advice for writers thinking about self-publishing a children’s picture book? I think it’s probably obvious, but it is essential that the book is properly edited. I’m not just talking about typos here. It’s very hard to assess your own writing (even if you’re an editor!), so I’d say make sure that several people check it and give you feedback before you go to print. In a children’s picture book, every word really does count, and writing that isn’t polished will stand out a mile.
Which of your characters is most like you in any of your books? I think Tansy is quite a lot like me. I often forget how to go to sleep, I’m not very good with figures and I’m always letting my imagination run away with me. Hopefully, I don’t cause as much trouble as Tansy did, though!
Marion Adams is a self-employed editor and proofreader. She has been writing since she was little, in a variety of styles and for different audiences, and her published work includes plays, song lyrics, non-fiction books, articles and magazine stories for teens. She is also a prize-winning poet and has had her work published in magazines including Salopeot, Bare Fiction and Poetry Nook. Go To Sleep! is her first children’s picture book, and she is currently working on several more titles. Marion lives in the UK on the south Devon coast with her family and two dogs, both boisterous Jack Russell crosses.
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