Photo of Brian G Chambers (above) provided by the author.
This week I had the chance to interview author and children’s book writer Brian G Chambers. Brian wrote Tilly and the Tooth Fairy, a magical children’s fairy tale that I am creating the cover and all inside picture book art.
So without further adieu ~ here are highlights from our conversation!
Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey especially regarding Tilly and the Tooth Fairy.
BRIAN: I started off my writing with poetry when I was about twenty.
The poems were mainly making fun about my work colleagues at the time.
I didn’t write my first children’s story until I was in my late
thirties. My granddaughter is named Tilly and I use her quite a lot now
in some of my stories. She is only four this month, but with my
imagination she can be any age I want her to be.
Where do you find your inspiration?
BRIAN: When I write a story first of all I think what would be a good title.
Then once I have a title in my head I figure out how I can write a story
What type of background do you have? Self taught? Formal training? Mentor?
BRIAN: I am completely self taught, though I did belong to The Deeside Writer
Group for a couple of years. This was used mainly to encourage each
other with their writing. I should say a special thank you to Gaynor,
who helped me with my punctuation.
Are you currently doing any new writing projects? If so, what?
BRIAN: I have just finished a short story about a very proud Rooster who gets
drunk at a party and sleeps in next morning, with dire consequences. It
is with Kim (Jet Black Publishing) now for revision, as are several others. As well as Tilly
& the Tooth Fairy, I have another story to be released by Jet Black Publishing
shortly, titled Benny the Blackbird & Sally the Seagull. It is about
how they fall in love and raise a family together through very harsh
times from the other birds. It is due to be released in May.
What is your current favorite children’s picture book story OR what is your favorite from your childhood?
BRIAN: I have always had a love of Roald Dhal books, but my childhood memories
are of Hans Christian Andersen. He was the one who made me want to be a
children’s writer in the first place, all those years ago.
What do you find the most challenging about writing children’s books?
BRIAN: I think the most challenging thing about writing for children is to use
simplistic language which they will understand. Of course you can put
the odd challenging word in for them too. I think children like a
challenge now and then.
Any advice to authors just starting out writing children’s picture books?
BRIAN: I wish there was something I could tell future children’s writers. I
think the best thing you can do is go to the local library and see what
is currently on offer. Don’t copy them but use them for inspiration. I
have always written what I think children would like to read, but I
suppose a lot of publisher would disagree with that. I also think if you
are going to do picture books you must find the illustrator that best
suits your style of writing. I have been fortunate that Kim (Jet Black Publishing) put me in
touch with you (Söndra Rymer, Fairy Tales Imagery, Inc), and I was lucky enough to find an artist on-line to do a
few of my other stories. Just simply do some research in the first
What do you think makes a good story?
BRIAN: What makes a good story? Now that is a very good question. If I knew
the answer to that I’d be a millionaire by now. Perhaps that is a
question better put to a publisher. 🙂