By Short Courses Team

Imagination and innovation: Inside the wonderful mind of Tracey Hawkins

07 Feb 2019

Author Tracey Hawkins has two beautiful picture books coming out with New Frontier Publishing this year.

Tracey also happens to be the tutor behind our Creative Non-Fiction and Writing for Children courses.

Tracey sat down with New Frontier Publishing to discuss her upcoming projects. In this interview, Tracey talks about her passion for writing for children.

What was the inspiration behind Max Meets a Monster?

Many years ago, 'Max' wandered into my kitchen in the shape of my three-year-old son. He demanded to know what had made horrible noises in the night. He was convinced we had a monster. It was soon revealed the noises belonged to my father who was visiting and snored loudly. It was the perfect story for a picture book and one where I could capture the loving relationship between my son and his grandad. I took Max on a journey on his sleepover where things are different. Although frightened, he is a bold little boy, who on his quest, discovers unexpected 'monsters' until he finds the real monster. I absolutely adore this book.

Max Meets a Monster

Tracey’s picture book, Max Meets a Monster was one of their first UK releases and featured as New Frontier’s book of the month.

You can purchase Max Meets a Monster here

What is your aim when writing a book for children?

My aim is to get words on a page that delight, entertain, and draw the reader into my story. So much happens during the writing process, but my final objective is to create a book that will capture the reader's immediate interest. I want to engage their imagination, transport them to another world and take them on a journey with the characters. If they are smiling and wanting to read the book again and again, then I've achieved success.

Do you have a routine or any habits when writing?

I start my writing day early afternoon and will take a few breaks and continue writing late into the night. It's my most creative time as my brain is fired up, the words flow and it's often hard to stop - especially thinking. I like silence when I write so my thoughts are clear and I’m not distracted.

What advice would you give to any aspiring writers?

Follow your heart and create.

  • Join writing organisations and writing groups, to mix with, to learn from and be inspired by others that share your passion.
  • Read, read and read some more.
  • Undertake courses in writing - learn the basics, and fundamentals in order to create stories.
  • Have a thick skin, don’t be precious. Accept feedback on your writing, albeit good and bad and maybe in the form of rejection. Learn from these experiences and become a stronger writer.

What can you tell us about your new book, Leaping Lola?

Leaping Lola is the fabulously funny story of a young calf who loves to dance. It is a visual treat on every page with incredible illustrations by Anil Tortop. There's so much to look at. I hope Leaping Lola will tickle children's imaginations and make them laugh as they follow her escapades at the black and white ball.

Leaping Lola

Tracey's second release, Leaping Lola will be launched by Tracey in London, May 2019 and in Australia, July 2019.

Want to become a writer? Explore our creative writing short courses here.

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