Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Cuppa and a Catch up with Author Penny Reeve

Author Penny Reeve

When did you start writing?
Like many authors I loved writing as a child. I wrote my first ‘picture book’ when I was 7 years old. It was inspired by real life (as all good books are!) and called ‘Creepy Crawlys’. I then went on to write detailed stories at school, soppy poetry when I was a teen and kept a diary off and on the whole time. But I never really believed I could write for publication until I was in my early twenties and that’s when I began giving it a more serious try.

What is your favourite place and time to write?
I love writing at home, alone, at my old leather topped desk. I seem to get my best writing done around lunch-time which is very inconvenient as I’ll get hungry in the middle of the creative flow.

What writing groups do you belong to?
Over my writing life I’ve been a member of a number of formal and informal writing groups. I’m currently part of various online writing communities and love a good catch up, talking writing over a cuppa with one or two good writing buddies.

Why did you/do you want to become an author?
I initially started seeking publication because I couldn’t find the books I wanted to buy for my daughter at our local bookstore. Now I write because it is my ‘heart thing’. I think best when writing and enjoy stretching myself to communicate my ideas in print as best I can.

What are you currently reading?
I always find myself part way through a variety of books. The current pile includes Meredith Resce’s For All Time, Stephanie Evans Steggall’s Can I Call You Colin?, Jackie French’s Refuge and the latest SCBWI journal.

Who are your favorite authors?
The answer to this question seems to change according to whatever I’m reading or recovering from. Current favourites include: Rosanne Hawke, Penelope Wilcock and Shannon Hale.

What is your current project?
I’m working on another story with the characters from my 2013 picture book Wonderfully Madison.

Do you write with a visual image of the illustrations for your book?
Yes, I always imagine how the story will play out visually, but try to hold myself back from being too specific as I enjoy seeing what unique storytelling aspects the illustrator will contribute.


Where do you get your inspiration from?
All over the place! It might be a scene as I’m driving the kids to school, an overheard conversation, a piece of music, an experience from my life, or a story that I believe needs telling. There doesn’t seem to be one main source, stories are generally a culmination of various ‘inspirations’.

Do you/Would you do all the marketing of your books or do you/would you have someone supporting you in that role?
I’ve found the marketing role different for each publisher I work with. There seems to be a level that is generally expected and helpful for the author to do, and I am also quite careful about what I expect from myself. It’s great to have the support of the publisher too.

What do you want your legacy to be?
That I told true stories, ones that gave children wings and hope to grow, reach and change the world they live in.