Here at Olympia we love hearing from our authors, getting an insight into their lives in writing and asking them what their advice would be to future authors. This week we had the pleasure of interviewing George Stanley about his book!
What has been your highlight of publishing so far?
I have been enthralled by the whole process. I certainly didn’t expect it to take so long, but having been through the various stages I can understand the need for accuracy, clarity and agreement on all aspects of the book’s journey
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
This is my first book and I have had this idea in my head for a long time. I wanted to look at children who learn differently and who have a different outlook on life through their eyes. The stories have developed through my experiences throughout my career as a Headteacher. Dash is my daughter’s cat and he helps me translate these children’s thoughts in a different way.
How many hours a day do you write?
Whilst writing the book I would have a dedicated 2 hours each day for writing. As I still work in schools this time tends to be when the schools are not in session
What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult.)
The book is based on experiences I have had within schools over a long period. The school system does not fit all children and I hope this comes through. I have a wide experience of primary schools over an extended period both as teacher and Headteacher and Dash is written for children 6 to 13 years of age from where I receive most of my inspiration
What did you edit out of this book?
I thought hard about including the death of Dash’s original owner and also whether to mention neglect by adults because they drink alcohol to excess, but in the end I realised that many children face these issues on a day to day basis and decided not to edit out anything at all. It might in fact help them to talk about their problems. The questions for parents and teachers at the end of the book are devised to help adults discuss such issues with children.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yes. The actual name of the boy who climbed out of the window and escaped from school and where I first saw children reading to an animal will only be known by a few people
What was your hardest part to write?
Dash’s flee for independence was difficult because he is still with my daughter and has not flown the nest, but I needed him to go exploring to develop other themes in the book. She has never forgiven me!!
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I tell children in schools to keep writing and to keep putting down their ideas. One came to me the other day saying she was writing a book. I told her that she should read it to someone, find out their views, edit it, add illustrations and most importantly never give up putting your thoughts on to paper. You never know who might enjoy your work.
If you could review Olympia publishers in a few words, what would they be?
Don’t expect a quick fix. The journey of a book covers many months, but everyone at Olympia has been supportive and helpful at every stage and they did in fact tell me it would take time. Unfortunately I was in a rush!!
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