1) Why children's books? Did you choose this genre or
were you 'chosen' by it?
My very first book was non-fiction for adults, but
I rapidly moved into writing children's books.
It's a genre I love - I read lots of children's books myself. It also suits my style as I
naturally write short, fast moving stories.
Non-fiction for children is fun too - I enjoy the
research and the challenge of explaining complex
ideas in ways that are easy to understand. 2) Is there a children's author, living or dead, who inspired you particularly?
As a child, I was a huge fan of Enid Blyton and Winnie the Pooh. More recently, my main inspirations are Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels and Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. 3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My most recent chapter book was The Lost Treasure, the last in a series about Amy Wild, a girl who can talk to animals. My most recent picture book was Doctor Hoof, a story about a horse who is a doctor who thinks he should only treat horses. When he moves to a new town, he finds he's the only horse so he has no patients until he learns that we're all very similar, even if we look different. I've just finished my first novel for older readers which I've written it in response to requests from readers for a longer book about horses. It's taken me ages, but I'm really excited about it, especially as everyone who's read it says it's the best book I've ever written. It's the story of a girl who's lived in lots of different foster homes and a horse with an equally troubled past. It will be published later this year, hopefully in the summer. 4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
I sold my first book (the one for adults) to the eleventh publisher I sent it to. Then I got an agent who helped me get started as a children's author. At first, I mainly wrote picture books and non-fiction. It took me a while to learn how to plot fiction properly, and I found writing scripts for animation helped me improve my skills. My big breakthrough into fiction came when Anne Finnis, an editor I'd worked with in the past, approached me with the idea for The Pony-Mad Princess and suggested that I write the books. 5) What's your opinion about this E-book revolution?
Would you consider the indie route?
The e-book revolution is very exciting because it's changing the way publishing works and liberating authors. I've already indie published some of my backlist that was out of print - 'A Special Child in the Family', my first book for adults, and 'Perfectly Pony', a collection of horse stories and information. Doing that was such fun that I've decided to publish my new novel myself instead of submitting it to publishers. I'm paying an editor and a book designer to help me, but I'm keeping control and should manage to get the book to market much faster than by the traditional route. It's hard work but very satisfying, and I suspect it's going to become the way many authors work. 6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use social media
a lot to promote their books.
Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only,
without being distracted by digital trivialities:
what are your thoughts?
I've been promoting online since 1999 when I launched www.wordpool.co.uk. At that point, social media mainly involved discussion groups. Now it's Twitter, Facebook and blogs. They're all a great way to build contacts with readers and other writers, but they can easily swallow masses of time so authors need to be careful to leave enough hours for their actual writing. Although it's sensible for authors to use social media, I'm not comfortable with the way some publishers are pressurising authors to do so. I've met some people where it's actually in their contract that they must blog and they must have a website, but the publisher isn't willing to help at all with the costs involved. I believe that the more publishers push the marketing load onto authors, the more likely it becomes that those authors will decide to go indie in future. If they're doing so much of the work already, why not do it all and keep the profits?
To know more, please visit: http://www.dianakimpton.co.uk/
To buy her latest book, simply click on the cover below: