Writing for young adults
Liz Kessler is the acclaimed author of the
Emily Windsnap books for young adults. She has worked as an editorial consultant and jounalist but it's her young stories which are now her main focus.
In this interview Liz shares some of her writing tips and explains how she goes about creating her books.
When did you first think that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was about eight, I was convinced I was going to be a poet. Now I write novels, but I still feel the same kind of desire to write as I did then.
Who or what inspired you to write?
My English teacher inspired me to write, because she made me feel that I was quite good at it! Nowadays, all sorts of things inspire me to write. The fact that I feel good when I do it inspires me and because my books are set in and near the sea, being near the sea inspires me.
What do you think about before you begin to write a story?
It could be anything. It might be an idea for the story itself, or it may be the main characters and a setting - or a mixture of all sorts of different things; but I do need to know a fair bit about characters, places and plot before I can actually start writing the book.
Do you use your own experiences to write a story?
A little bit. I use my experiences of places quite a bit. For example, my second book was set in the Bermuda Triangle and I went to Bermuda to research it! I think I use bits of ideas about real places, real people and real events but then mix this up with a LOT of stuff that's purely made up.
What was your favourite children's book and why?
I loved The Adventures of the Wishing Chair by Enid Blyton, which was about a magic chair that developed wings and could fly to different places. I just loved the possibility that this could happen and used to hope that perhaps one of my chairs would do the same! I've always loved stories based on the idea of 'what if' and still do.