Monday, 22 June 2020

Guest blog post from Catherine Rosevear

Many thanks to Amanda, for letting me write a guest blog post!

I’ve been writing for children for about five years now. I’d wanted to for many years before that, but I never had the time – or I thought I didn’t. Looking back, I think that I just needed to make a start, because once I got started, I felt motivated to continue, even when time was short.

Ever since I was really small, I’ve always loved reading. As a child, my favourite books were the Paddington books by Michael Bond, which really inspired me to be a reader and – later on – a writer.

When I first started writing I bought a copy of the Writers and Artists Yearbook, and as soon as my first chapter book, ‘The Secret of the Wooden Chest’, was complete, I went through the yearbook and looked at the lists of agents, trying to decide who seemed like the best fit for my book. I sent it out to a few agents before I realised that it probably needed editing, and so I used Cornerstones Literary to help me with a copy edit. But I still wasn’t successful in finding an agent who was interested and so, eventually, I decided to self-publish it with Matador (the self-publishing imprint of Troubador Publishing Ltd).

Matador advised me to get a cover illustration ready and so, after yet more googling online, I turned to Ian R Ward, who produced a beautiful cover illustration for my first book.

The Secret of theWooden Chest’ came out with Matador in 2017, followed in 2018 by the second book in my chapter book series, ‘Mystical Moonlight’.

Since then I’ve been doing school visits with these two books, and also continuing with new writing projects. Currently I’m working on a Middle Grade book for slightly older children.

One thing I really love about taking my self-published books into schools is the enthusiasm of the children I meet, who are usually not only really keen on reading, but also exciting about writing. For this reason, I sometimes suggest a writing competition for the classes I visit. I then go back to the school a couple of weeks later to collect the children’s stories and take them home to read. Their imagination and powerful storytelling never cease to amaze me!

Since self-publishing, I’ve joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and have attended several of their workshops, which has really helped me to develop my skills. Last year I even attended their UK conference for the first time, where a whole weekend’s worth of workshops and talks inspired me with further ideas. One of the best things I leaned at the conference, was that a writer should spend a big chunk of their time reading – both inside and outside the genre they write in – so that they can learn from other writers. I’ve always loved spending a lot of time reading, but now, as well as reading for relaxation, I feel that I can justify spending even more time reading, and I consider it to be part of the work of learning to be a writer!

So, whether you’re a reader or a writer – or both – keep reading!





Catherine Rosevear lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband, two children and a very opinionated Tibetan Terrier. She has self-published two children’s chapter books – ‘The Secret of the Wooden Chest’ (Matador, 2017) and Mystical Moonlight’ (Matador, 2018), both of which follow the adventures of a girl called Hannah who is able to use magic to get in touch with a girl from ancient Roman times! She also writes a regular blog at catherinerosevear.wordpress.com, and she can be contacted through her blog for information about school visits and book sales.

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