Today With Sharon Jones

Over the last few weeks I’ve been introducing the authors who will be at the Tenby Book Fair, http://bit.ly/27XORTh, the first event of the Tenby Arts Festival http://bit.ly/24eOVtl 

 I’m almost finished interviewing them all now.

In the next fortnight I’ll be showcasing the three publishers who will be with us: http://honno.co.uk/, http://www.fireflypress.co.uk/ and http://www.cambriapublishing.org.uk/

And I’ll be sharing a post from the brilliant http://showboat.tv/ Who always video and share our Tenby Book Fair.

So far here are the wonderful authors. Please feel free to check them and their great books out: Rebecca Bryn: http://bit.ly/1XYWbtF, Thorne Moore: http://bit.ly/1P6zDQh  Matt Johnson: http://bit.ly/1RUqJFg , Christoph Fischer: http://bit.ly/1svniAr , Sally Spedding: http://bit.ly/1VNRQci, Wendy Steele: http://bit.ly/1PMoF8i ,Kathy MIles: http://bit.ly/1twN3Bg , Graham Watkins: http://bit.ly/2aEgwRv , Carol Lovekin:http://bit.ly/1Y2z6HT, Colin R Parsons:http://bit.ly/1tvBc5G , Lisa Shambrook: http://bit.ly/28NMI5v:  ,Alex Martin: http://bit.ly/28VLsQG ,  Judith Arnopp:  http://bit.ly/290cJMl , Sharon Tregenza:http://bit.ly/29frGPq    Juliet Greenwood:http://bit.ly/29jylrM , Nigel Williams:http://bit.ly/29racfO , Julie McGowan:http://bit.ly/29CHNa9 , John Nicholl:http://bit.ly/29NtdtX  ,Tony Riches:  http://bit.ly/29y3a8k:  ,Wendy White: http://bit.ly/29TMCpY  ,Angela Fish:http://bit.ly/2a5qY2U  David Thorpe:http://bit.ly/2a9uG0V , Eloise William:http://bit.ly/2aoZk1k , Phil Carradice: http://bit.ly/2aYINV5  and Jo Haammond:http://bit.ly/2b7nMqf .And thanks to Thorne Moore for interviewing me: http://bit.ly/1VTvqGq 

There may also be a short chat with John and Fiona of http://showboat.tv/ who, as usual, will be filming the event.

 

Today I’m really pleased to be chatting with  Firefly author. Sharon Jones. 

sharon jones 1

 

Welcome Sharon, it’s great to be meeting you here.

Let’s start by you telling us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?

I was born and raised in Dolgellau, North Wales and as a child was enchanted by local folk tales of Idris the giant who used to sit on Cader Idris, the mountain which overlooks the town. My imagination was far too big to stay restricted within my brain, so I would constantly make up stories. I was strongly influenced by Enid Blyton’s books which I devoured, and my stories always centred on magical trees and wishing wells. My biggest secret as a child was that there was a fairy door on the crab apple tree at the bottom of our garden. If I scrunched my eyes closed and tapped three times on the door, I would be transported to the magical Crabble Kingdom and was swept away on adventures with the Crabble Fairies. Oh, and other than my sons, I don’t think that anyone else knows that I can juggle!

grace-ella-lowres final cover

 

I love the cover! Do tell us what your book is about?

‘Grace-Ella: Spells for Beginners’ is my debut children’s book *pauses for a little squeal* It’s a funny, magical adventure about friendship and being true to yourself, for 7-9 year olds. Grace-Ella is an ordinary little girl who lives in the seaside town of Aberbetws … ordinary until one Saturday, a black cat strolls through the back door of the Bevin’s house and takes up residence. Little does Grace-Ella know that the cat will reveal that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the ninth year of her life, she will become a witch. What ensues are sparkling spells and potion commotions. Despite there being strict rules from the Witch Council about not using magic to seek revenge on a foe, will Grace-Ella be able to find a way of using her magic so that Amelia, the school bully, gets the comeuppance she deserves? Well, I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out. ‘Grace-Ella’ will publish on the 15th of September with www.fireflypress.co.uk/

 

Are you working on another book?

‘Grace-Ella: Spells for Beginners’ is the first in a series of ‘Grace-Ella’ books. I am currently working on Book 2. To give you a sneaky hint, the second story is about Grace-Ella’s adventures at Witch Camp, where rules are broken with catastrophic consequences, cats go missing, a broomstick battle and of course cauldrons full of sparkling magic. I also have another young middle grade story, currently under consideration with a publisher, so fingers and toes crossed for that too.

 

Are your characters based on real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Grace-Ella whooshed into my mind as I was driving to work one morning. I had to execute a perfect emergency swerve and come to a skidding halt in a layby. I quickly jotted down who Grace-Ella was. She was just the ordinary young girl who sits in the classroom, but has this amazing magical secret. Mrs Bevin, Grace-Ella’s mam, is definitely based on a real person … but I can’t possibly reveal who. She is very pernickety and appearances and keeping up with the neighbours are her main goals in life. Because of this, she greatly exaggerates situations and on discovering that her daughter is a witch, her distress is almost apocalyptical. Having worked as a Primary School teacher for twelve years, I have taught many children who all have their own unique and wonderful characteristics and it’s a mish-mash of all these traits that generally make up my characters.

 

Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?

I worked as a Primary School teacher for twelve years, but made the difficult decision at the beginning of this year, to give up my teaching position. I wanted to give my full attention and all my energy into raising my boys and my writing. Once my book publishes, I will be available for school visits and writing workshops. I write in the mornings when my youngest son attends Nursery School. I have recently decorated and created a beautiful office space to work in and find the morning hours simply evaporate when my imagination takes hold and I’m away. I have to be alone and in complete silence to write (fuelled by coffee), so once the boys are home, it’s time to be Mam. Becoming a children’s author was always that dream that collected cobwebs in the deep recesses of my mind for years and to have now achieved that, well … quite simply, it’s magical.

 

 Where can we find you online?

You can find me twittering on Twitter @sharonmariej (https://twitter.com/sharonmariej)

I also write a blog called ‘Sharon Marie Jones: Just Being Me’, which you can read at sharonmariej.wordpress.com. On my blog, you’ll find my journey through the tragic grief I battle, following the death of my 5-year-old son in March. Some of this journey is written as detailed accounts, some is written as poetry. I hope by being honest and open about my situation, my writing may help someone in the same, or similar situation.

Sharon’s book is now available to pre-order:

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/2aRYb1N

Amazon.com:http://amzn.to/2aLStDa

Gwales:http://bit.ly/2aRZONi

Firefly Press: http://www.fireflypress.co.uk/

 

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Today With Phil Carradice

 

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Over the last few weeks I’ve been introducing the authors who will be at the Tenby Book Fair, http://bit.ly/27XORTh, the first event of the Tenby Arts Festival http://bit.ly/24eOVtl 

 I’m almost finished interviewing them all now.

In the next week or two I’ll be showcasing the three publishers who will be with us: http://honno.co.uk/, http://www.fireflypress.co.uk/ and http://www.cambriapublishing.org.uk/

And I’ll be sharing a post from the brilliant http://showboat.tv/ Who always video and share our Tenby Book Fair.

So far here are the wonderful authors. Please feel free to check them and their great books out: Rebecca Bryn: http://bit.ly/1XYWbtF, Thorne Moore: http://bit.ly/1P6zDQh , Matt Johnson: http://bit.ly/1RUqJFg , Christoph Fischer: http://bit.ly/1svniAr , Sally Spedding: http://bit.ly/1VNRQci, Wendy Steele: http://bit.ly/1PMoF8i ,Kathy MIles: http://bit.ly/1twN3Bg , Carol Lovekin:http://bit.ly/1Y2z6HT, Colin R Parsons:http://bit.ly/1tvBc5G , Lisa Shambrook: http://bit.ly/28NMI5v:  ,Alex Martin: http://bit.ly/28VLsQG ,  Judith Arnopp:  http://bit.ly/290cJMl , Sharon Tregenza:http://bit.ly/29frGPq    Juliet Greenwood:http://bit.ly/29jylrM , Nigel Williams:http://bit.ly/29racfO , Julie McGowan:http://bit.ly/29CHNa9 , John Nicholl:http://bit.ly/29NtdtX  ,Tony Riches:  http://bit.ly/29y3a8k:  ,Wendy White: http://bit.ly/29TMCpY  ,Angela Fish:http://bit.ly/2a5qY2U  David Thorpe:http://bit.ly/2a9uG0V  and Eloise William: http://bit.ly/2aoZk1k And thanks to Thorne Moore for interviewing me: http://bit.ly/1VTvqGq 

 

Today, at last, I’m here with Phil Carradice, whose interview is a little different.

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Hi Phil, take it away!!

 Cheers, Judith. here goes…

I began to write at school; I suppose I was around eight or nine. My father taught me to appreciate words, and also the writers I was reading at the time. And I continued to write at college.

But my real writing career began when I went to work as a teacher at a young offenders’ centre in Essex – stories and poems about them. These were published in magazines like Social Work Today and Community Care. Then a publisher asked if he could put them together in a book – unbelievable.

I moved on from there and began to write on other themes. Pembrokeshire, its topography and history, were always important to me so it was natural that I should write about them. What came out were lots of poems about the county but also a lot of history about my home town of Pembroke Dock.

 I write in my living room, in a book with a pen or pencil. Lots of noise going on around me – radio, TV etc. I transfer things to the computer later.

I’ve just been commissioned to write a series of books on Sense of Place – how writers are affected by the landscape and the places they live in. I’m also putting the finishing touches to a children’s book.

My most recent book is Napoleon in Defeat and Captivity – the story of Napoleon on St Helena.         ( http://fonthillmedia.com/Napoleon-in-Defeat-and-Captivity) published by Fonthill.

 I’ve also got a short monograph on the poet Ivor Gurney coming out later this month.

I always wanted to write books – or play rugby for Wales. That one’s looking a bit unlikely at my age!

I used to be a teacher but  gave that up to become a full-time writer – which I’ve been doing since 2000.

I do a lot of broadcasting on radio and go into lots of schools as a creative writing teacher – that’s what you have to do if you want to live as a writer.

 I have five or six different publishers, have never self-published but I think things were different when I started writing. It’s hard to get a start these days.

Thank you, Phil. A nice easy reminder of you and your books (all fifty of them …. bet there’ll be more by the time of the Book Fair!)

Links to Phil Carradice:

http://www.philcarradice.co.uk/

https://www.accentpress.co.uk/phil-carradice

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/waleshistory/phil_carradice

http://www.gwales.com/search_basic/

http://www.literaturewales.org/writers-of-wales/i/129551/desc/carradice-phil/

http://www.gomer.co.uk/index.php/authors/philcarradice.html

 

Today With Sharon Tregenza

Introducing the authors who will be at the Tenby Book Fair, http://bit.ly/27XORTh, the first event of the Tenby Arts Festival http://bit.ly/24eOVtl .  I’m looking forward to having many more such chats over the next couple of weeks. 

So far I’ve interrogated interviewed Rebecca Bryn: http://bit.ly/1XYWbtF, Thorne Moore: http://bit.ly/1P6zDQh , Matt Johnson: http://bit.ly/1RUqJFg , Christoph Fischer: http://bit.ly/1svniAr , Sally Spedding: http://bit.ly/1VNRQci, Wendy Steele: http://bit.ly/1PMoF8i ,Kathy MIles:  http://bit.ly/1twN3Bg , Carol Lovekin:http://bit.ly/1Y2z6HT, Colin R Parsons: http://bit.ly/1tvBc5G and Lisa Shambrook: http://bit.ly/28NMI5v:  and Alex Martin:  http://bit.ly/28VLsQG  and  Judith Arnopp:  http://bit.ly/290cJMl And thanks to Thorne Moore for interviewing me: http://bit.ly/1VTvqGq  Over the next week or two I’ll be introducing the rest of the authors. I’ll also be showcasing the publishers who will be in attendance and who will be giving short talks and may be able to give advice to would-be authors: http://honno.co.uk/ , http://www.fireflypress.co.uk/   and  http://www.cambriapublishing.org.uk/ ,

There may also be a short chat with John and Fiona of http://showboat.tv/ who, as usual, will be filming the event.

Today I’m nattering with one of my oldest and dearest friends, award winning children’s’ author,Sharon Tregenza.

 

 

SHARON TREGENZA -PROFILE 2

Hi Sharon, come into my parlour, said the spider … and all that!!

Hmm. I think it’s good to be here. (She is laughing, folks. Honest)

 Yes, sorry about that. Just getting into the mood for chatting about children’s books. So, first question. (as if I haven’t already let the cat out of the bag), What kind of writing do you do?

I write for children – mostly mysteries with a touch of magic. I’m working on a Picture Book at the moment, though

Why did you choose to write in your particular genre.

I didn’t, really. It chose me. I was living in the Middle East and got to know a group of writers. Through them I met the editor of a children’s magazine and she asked me to submit some of my work. That grew into a regular stream of stories, articles and verse, all for children. I wrote several hundred pieces over the next twelve years. Great fun

What were you like at school? (Bet I can guess!!)

Small and giggly (Yep!!), oh and speedy. I held the school 100 yards record for years.

Were you good at English?

Yes. I won the English prize three years running.  (Now, why doesn’t that surprise me! She is an award winning author after all) Hmm, this is starting to read like an ego fest.  (Rubbish!!) Ask me  a different type of question.

Okay. Who are some of your favourite authors?

  1. Louis Sacher
  2. Norton Juster
  3. Toni Morrison
  4. Daphne De Maurier
  5. John Steinbeck
  6. Terry Pratchett
  7. Margaret Attwood
  8. Thomas Hardy
  9. Oliver Jeffers
  10. Maurice Sendak — how long have you got? J (Sniff!! You seem to have missed someone out!)

 So, where do you write and what is a typical writing day for you?

There isn’t a typical writing day. I wish there was. It depends on meals, muse and mood. I have frequently tried to follow a set routine, but it never lasts. Late, very late, at night is my favourite time to write though.

Where I write? I live in a lovely converted chapel and although I have a smart study – I mostly write on the dining room table beneath a huge arched window. (I can vouch for this lovely place – had many a great writing weekend there)  Eh! Is this my interview or yours (She’s  laughing again, so I’m okay)

 Sorry. So, tell us, what process did you go through to get your book published?

 My first book, ‘Tarantula Tide’ won the Kelpies prize and was immediately published by Floris Books as a result. Entering a competition is an exhilarating way to get published. It all happened very quickly. Exciting.  

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My next book ‘The Shiver Stone’ was published by Firefly Press.

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 Serious stuff now! What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on three books simultaneously. The picture book I mentioned and two Middle Grade mysteries. There are fires and secrets and magical peacocks and missing songbirds all mingled together in my head. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it’s just a big mess.  J

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Hopefully I’ll have another book out later this year. I want to finish the three books I’m working on too and have plenty of fun with the process. I’m meeting someone from the Arts Centre this week to talk about giving a course on writing for children. I’ll also be involved with the ‘Summer Reading Challenge’ for children in association with local libraries. That’ll be interesting. So I’ve got lots to look forward to.

 And, from the sound of it, so have many children!

Look out for Sharon here.

Website: www.sharontregenza.com

Email: sharontregenza@gmail.com

Facebook: facebook.com/sharontregenzabooks

Twitter: twitter.comsharontregenza

Buying links: 

 Shiver Stone:

  Amazon.co.uk : http://amzn.to/1UagTH5

 Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/2935KYm

 Firefly Press: http://bit.ly/2935JE2

Tarantula Tide:

 Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/292nLCB

 Amazon.com:http://amzn.to/292EchQ