Tracey Corderoy Interview

Tracey Corderoy was born and grew up in industrial South Wales and now lives in a hidden valley in Gloucestershire with her husband, two children and an ever-increasing menagerie of devilishly-cute-but-sometimes-rather-naughty pets.

A trained teacher, Tracey has always had a passion for wonderful literature and began writing for children in 2006. Her books include The Grunt and The Grouch series about two riotous trolls, and numerous picture books including The Little White Owl, Hubble Bubble, Granny Trouble! and A Flower in The Snow.

Tracey’s head is happily crammed with countless ideas and stories and she’s loving the adventures that her characters insist they share… Here Tracey shares her thoughts about her writing, inspirations and favourite books.

What inspired you to sit down and write your first book?
As far back as I can remember I have loved stories and have always wanted to write my own. Then, one day, I was researching children’s literature for a project I was involved in and I got the strong urge to finally have a go and write my own!

Are there any books that you loved as a child and have enjoyed sharing with your own children?
Well, I didn’t have many books when I grew up. I had a set of ancient encyclopaedias, a thick Welsh Bible (I couldn’t read a word of!) and the little Ladybird story of Cinderella. I treasured that book and read it, over and over again. I knew every word on every page! Consequently, I read lots of fairy tales to my own children. But we also shared countless great picture books. We very steadily filled their bookshelves with a treasure trove of wonderful stories and, as we shared them, we created memories that will last a lifetime.

I know it’s like asking a parent to choose a favourite child but if you had to pick one, which would be your favourite character from one of your own books?
If I had to choose one of my characters to spend an afternoon with I think I might choose The Little White Owl from my book of the same name because I know we’d have great fun together (plus, he’d share his toast with me!)…

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on many great projects! I’m writing another Baby Bear picture book for Little Tiger Press. I’m also writing a young fiction series with Nosy Crow for the popular (whisper it) witch granny character and her granddaughter, Pandora, whom we first meet in ‘Hubble Bubble, Granny Trouble!

As well as this, I’m writing an older fiction series about a whacky inventor and his family for Stripes (‘Baddies, Beasties and A Sprinkling of Crumbs’). Finally, I’m working on more gorgeous ‘Willow Valley’ stories for Scholastic. Phew!

Here at ‘Book Events for Children’ we love promoting author events. Will you be making many appearances at bookshops, festivals etc over the coming months?
I’ve performed at all the major Literary Festivals this year and will be hopefully doing more next year. I also do regular bookshop events. My next appearance will be in Waterstones, Hereford on Saturday December 1st where I’ll be presenting my latest picture book, ‘A Flower in the Snow’ and my new young fiction story, ‘One Snowy Day…’ (Willow Valley). I’ll be doing some wintery crafts with the children too!

Where do you get the ideas for your books?
I get my inspiration from anything and everything! I collect interesting pictures and objects, and words and phrases I like the sound of. I gain inspiration from the valley where I live but am equally captivated by things I see or hear when I’m out and about in busy towns or schools.

What has been the best advice you have been given, in terms of writing?
Write from the heart and really care for your characters. Then others will care about them too…

Do you have a favourite bookshop or library?
I’ve visited so many in the last few months and I have to say I’ve had a very warm welcome everywhere I’ve been. I went on a great Library Tour recently in Denbigh, North Wales where it was wonderful to see children have such fun with my characters. Events always inspire me to write lots more stories!

How long does it take you to write a book, on average?
It very much depends on the story. Some picture books can come very quickly others take a lot longer. Like plants, you nurture and watch them grow. Then they sometimes need vigorous pruning and that’s when the editing process begins! So books can take weeks or quite a few months. It’s good to be patient and let your characters speak when they’re ready.

Which children’s author (past or present) would you most like to meet?
I’d love to meet J.K Rowling because her stories took my own children on an amazing journey. A journey that lasted most of their childhood, and I’d really like to thank her…