Today we have with us author Bethany Bull. We met and started talking and I asked her if she would like to do an interview with me and obviously she said yes. So here is my interview with Bethany Bull.
1. When did you decide to become a writer?
I think it began when I was a young girl, we had no television in South Africa until the late 70's. We did have radio and would listen to stories on the there.
Every evening we would sit in the lounge and listen to our favourite serials on the radio! This and the fact that I grew up in such a wild and wonderful country, with a few younger sister's to 'babysit' helped my imagination develop.
I used to tell my sister's stories from my head and sometimes instead of scaring them, I would scare the 'pants' off myself too!
When I got my first grandchild,( who I spent hours with) I rekindled the story telling.
My granddaughter would try make it harder and harder for me to invent a story. She would give me a word and I had to make up a story from that word... I found I loved this and slowly began to write them down.
2. How do you like writing children's books? Why did you decide on that genre?
As I said before, I started writing the stories down for my Grand daughter. I found I loved the fact that children's innocence and belief that 'animals' could talk was wonderful. I could write about any animal, fantasy, mystical, or real and I could give them voices and adventures
3. Who are some of your influences?
This is hard as I do not have influences for children's books. Of course I have read all the Disney books and Fables Fairy tales and lots more to my children, but as for author's, my favourite author has to be Dean R Koontz. I love his descriptive sentences. In his books I feel like I am there where I can almost taste and smell the scenes he is describing. As an author I really look up to him. I think he is the best and I would love to write in the same way.
4. What is your favorite book you wrote so far?
Well, I have really loved writing them all, but I think my favourites are Brown and his adventures, as I tried to add some humour, where the mouse bounces off the toads tummy! Then Big T and his Herbivore Friends, and The Lonely Troll, as I enjoyed the meaning of these stories. I put a life lesson in most of my stories, about things that children should learn, like the water cycle in ( Blue the Story of a Raindrop) bullying, friendship, listening to parents....
5. Who has been your favorite character to write about. Tell us about him/her.
I enjoyed The Lonely Troll, as in this story I got to relive a time in the world of mystical creatures like Bunyips, who steal naughty children and Bonnocom, whose poo is so hot it burns the ground... lol. It was great fun, but I wanted to teach children in this tale about bullying as it is such an important part of their school lives, sadly.
6. Your greatest moment as author so far?
Having my Grand-daughter say ' Awesome' when the paperback was published and I showed them to her!! My next 'awesome' moment will be with my first review!!
7. What makes your book different from others in the genre?
Honestly??? I do not know. I am hoping that I am able to reach the children with my stories with humour, life, animals, and magical creatures. I have loved writing each and every one of my stories and I hope that children every where 'love' reading them!! That for me is the most important thing, I want children to 'enjoy' reading again!!
The pictures in my stories, have been done in a bright and colourful way, (almost child like) which I hoped would make them feel like a picture they could relate to, as something they could do.
8. What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Haha, Easy... the editing. Being able to leave the story behind you for a time, then go back and redo, again and again. I hate it! I am sure I leave countless error's for my poor Publisher!
9. Tell me about your writing habits.
I find the name of the story first and I work from there. I never know what the story is going to be or how it will end until my pen hits the paper. The story then seems to flow, sometimes I can write and write for hours and then there are days when I can only write a couple pages. It never worries me though as I know if I put my pen to paper it will come. I am not able to use my laptop at that stage. I only type my work up once I have completely finished the story on paper.
10. Is there a great book you want to write?
I would love to write a crime thriller. Something about a serial killer who is so good, the police are having a hard time tracking him down. He wants fame so starts writing to the papers to get known, and he ends up killing more violently and viciously. As each murder gets worse than the one before, his murdering spree ends up getting out of control, until finally he is caught.
11. Where is your favorite place to write? For example on the patio, at an old desk, in a nearby park, etc.
I have a study. It is in the sun for most of the day and I enjoy sitting there in the winter and writing. In the summer I enjoy writing outside. As I only need a note pad and pen, I am able to write almost anywhere, as long as it is not too noisy. I can write with the sound of a stream, or the sea and birds, distant dogs barking, or faint voices, but not loud music or noises.
12. What are you working on now?
I actually have a few things on the go at the moment...
For book four in my children's short stories (almost finished) I am working on Sam and His Broken Tail, a story of a snake who gets his tail broken by the pounding hooves of Buffalo on the run from Lions. He has to then go to the healer to have his tail fixed.( The healer is an old Vulture.)
I am also busy with two YA novels, one about an Asian teenager who gets trained as an assassin, and the other about two young boys who are friends from two different cultures and backgrounds, one a young black farm boy from South Africa and the other a white English boy from the city of London.
Then if I get time between those, I am writing a series of children's stories about a Troll Family called the Do-Dahs.
13. Do you have anything else to add?
In each book I have written, I have asked the children if they read my stories and enjoyed them to write to me with a 'word'. I shall endeavour to write a story for them with that word!!
To all the 'big' children out there, if they feel the same, please go ahead and leave a comment good or bad. It all helps to make me a better writer for the children.
Love to all and thank you for giving me this time to chat about my writing!!!
Wow that was a great interview. I am so happy Bethany was able to give us some of her precious time. You can find any of Bethany's books on goodreada here. And on Amazon here. Be sure to check out her books!