Author Spotlight: Pippa Chorley
Happy Tuesday and welcome to Picture Book Spotlight!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for showing up in droves (a real unit of measure) to support Tara Lazar! I mean I knew she was awesome...but...it was sheer madness. Over 150 participants in her giveaway and nearly 80 new subscribers! If you happened to miss her stellar interview, you can read it here.
The lucky winner of Tara's giveaway was Charlotte Offsay! She chose a picture book manuscript critique and I am in no way jealous...(cough). Okay, I'm totally jealous. As are many of you, no doubt. Make sure to tell Charlotte congrats and give her a follow!
There's an ancient remedy to heal the wound inflicted by not winning a giveaway contest...you enter another giveaway contest. Fortunately for you, there is one starting this very moment. Make sure you're subscribed so you don't fall through the cracks.
But first...we have a very special Author Spotlight. Pippa Chorley is celebrating her debut picture book, Counting Sheep. If you are a fan of comedy, well written lyrical picture books, and sheep launching themselves into the clouds...you will love this book.
Pippa is a member of the debut group, On the Scene in '19. Give them a follow and check out the other authors and artists with debuts this year!
Firstly and most importantly my 3 fantastic kids. They give me so many ideas. Simply watching them play and hearing the funny things they say have sparked many a manuscript over the years. Some of my stories are based on my kids personalities or things that have happened to them too. I recently wrote a story about a little girl behaving like a monkey that was based on a tantrum my Daughter had on a holiday in Central Park New York.
Secondly, Jasper my spaniel. My dog walks are essential to my writing as I use that quiet time each morning to iron out any creases in my work, listen to other author's podcasts, and most importantly clear my head ready for my mornings' writing.
Thirdly, a cup of coffee. Coffee and writing for me go hand in hand. Not just the taste of it but I also like the quite hubbub of small local coffee shops to write in too. Being surrounded by people going about their day to day business whilst sitting in a quiet corner to write really helps me for some reason. Despite the background noise I find it helps me focus.
What’s something you absolutely must have in your refrigerator or pantry?
I can’t believe I am confessing to this, but I have a terrible guilty pleasure for eating pick and mix sweets - much to my dentist’s disapproval! Perhaps it’s the kid in me, but my favourites are strawberry laces, white mice and fizzy cola bottles! Don’t tell my kids but I often have a secret stash at home that they know nothing about!
Definitely when I am surrounded by nature or with animals. I love large wild spaces where I can let my mind drift. Beaches, fields and woodlands. It doesn’t matter which, as they all offer something unique and have a different positive vibe, but when I am surrounded by nature I feel at my most creative.
Give us a little about your background. How did you get into kidlit, and why picture books?
I have always loved picture books. When I was 12 my baby brother came along and I used to love reading picture book stories to him at bedtime. I would often know them off by heart and even sketched pictures from them too as I loved to draw. In my early teens I wrote him a story about a teddy bears’ diary which I recently came across when clearing out a storage box.
Later when I took my A level in English Language I chose as part of my coursework to write and illustrate a children’s picture book. It was called ‘The Tale of Fluke the Dolphin’. So to answer your question, I think I have always wanted to do it, even before I really knew I did! I have always written and the genre of children’s literature feels very natural to me. I honestly believe I have found my calling, now that I have begun to do it as a career and that is truly a wonderful feeling.