From saving penguins to playing football. Author Helen Summers talks to us about what inspired her to write, as well as sharing her tips for aspiring authors.
Q - How old were you when you first wrote something substantial?
A - I have been writing as long as I can remember, in fact I recently came across a story I wrote when I was about eight or nine about a girl who fell through a bush into a magic world where she had to go and save a penguin and there were flowers that were made of chips and the middle was tomato sauce! It was definitely not substantial, but funny to look back on.
Q - Did you ever have aspirations to become a writer?
A - Yes, as you can tell from above I was always writing which was why I chose to go down the journalism path route. I am also a big sports fan so I wanted to combine the two.
Q - What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
A - The best piece of advice I was given when I was at sixth form. A tutor advised me to do geography at university (one of my favourite subjects) and then do a Masters in journalism so that I could enjoy my university time and I would always have something to fall back on. It was the best advice I could have been given because it gave me so much more skill and knowledge before I went and buckled down in my Masters. I believe that advice helped me succeed in my work life.
Q - What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
A - If you believe in the idea and you write from the heart your love and passion will show through and make the story even better. Don’t be afraid to show your work to the world.
Q - What did you find easiest and hardest about writing?
A - The easiest part is the initial write as I love creating the first draft. From then it usually gets a bit harder as it takes me a long time to change things round and writer’s block is the worst!
Q - Was it faster to write your book or to have it published?
A - It was quicker to write it as once I came up with the idea, I could not stop. The longest process was convincing myself to send it in. It was one of my closest friends who finally gave me the push to do it.
Q - What was your favourite part of your book to write?
A - My favourite part was seeing the initial idea in my head coming to life. That feeling when I read it as a whole and was completely happy with it was really special. I also loved the first time I saw the illustrations as they complimented the words perfectly.
Q - Do you have any plans to publish more work.
A - ‘Why can’t I play football?’ was the first in a series and I have written the first drafts of the next two. I am looking forward to getting time to sit down and perfect them so we can start the publishing process all over again!
Q - If you could review Olympia Publishers in just a few words, what would they be?
A - Olympia Publishers are extremely supportive and helpful. As someone that had no idea on the process they have been there every step of the way to provide advice.