An Interview with Elspeth Grace Hall!

Today, it's my pleasure to be interviewing children's author Elspeth Grace Hall! Elspeth loves animals, and she has been the saviour of many poor hedgehogs (and a certain cat). She also writes poetry, both in English and Sign Supported English (you can check out her poetry at http://thesigningpoet.weebly.com/). You can connect with Elspeth on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Welcome to the blog, Elspeth!


First, tell us a bit about yourself.

I am an Autistic Deaf mother of one. I am in the process of setting up a small holding in Caithness, and I work alongside my husband teaching history at fairs, festivals, in schools and to home education groups.

What books have you written, and what genre are they?

The Adventures Of Puss-Puss. They are an early readers trilogy of animal stories.


Tell us more about your books!

It all started when Puss-Puss was young. Puss-Puss was not sure how or why it happened. One night she went to sleep in the box under the bed like she did every night but when she woke in the morning she was by the canal in the big outside. 
Book 1 is out now on Amazon and follows Puss-Puss as she meets new friends and has exciting adventures in the big outside. 
Book 2 will be launched early December and Puss-Puss experiences her first winter outside and learns about the hardships and fun of life outdoors, becoming part of the community as she does.

Book 3 ... well I'm not too sure when exactly book three will be coming out as I am still working on the illustrations. It explores the fauna of the British canal including a Scottish mermaid (which don't have fish tails!) and as a bonus book 3 will include Puss-Puss's final adventure so readers will find out if Puss-Puss ever gets to be a house cat again.


What ages are your books for?

As bedtime stories they are suitable from 3 - 11. The language and layout has be designed so that they can be read by children themselves from 6 up.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

My cat. She was abandoned in a plastic bag outside my front door. As I watched her encounter the varied wildlife in our garden I wondered how she would have fared if she had been dumped on the canal bank just down the road.


How did you come up with your characters?

I have cared for animals most of my life. Hedgehog (who is personally my favourite character even if he is only a sidekick)  is a hodgepodge of the numerous hedgehogs I rescued from next door's terrier. He poses as the voice of reason and self-preservation. I put the two (Puss-Puss and Hedgehog) together to reflect the conflicting aspects of a child's mind.  Puss-Puss is the wonder and awe of innocence; Hedgehog is reason and the cynicism that comes with "growing up". To counterbalance them I have Gentleman Bat whom I have always imagined to be a kindly aged bachelor uncle.


When did you first start writing?

I first started writing in my teens as a form of therapy but that is a subject which I feel is not suitable for this blog. I started writing children's books when I was pregnant.

Where do you like to write?

Practically anywhere, I have a Dictaphone for emergencies, but I prefer pencil and paper. I have shelves of school exercise books crammed with notes and half written paragraphs. When I get enough, or inspiration brings out a story whole, this is then transferred into yet another notebook, this time in pen. Quite often I will spring out of bed in the small hours of the morning, rush down to the kitchen, scribble away, and then hop back into bed. (being very careful not to get my cold feet on my husband.)


What are some of your favorite books?

Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy tales, The Second Jungle book by Rudyard Kipling, Famous Five by Enid Blyton, and anything by Beatrix Potter, Terry Pratchett and A.A. Milne.

Do you have any advice for up-and-coming authors?

Edit edit edit. If you haven’t spent 20 x the amount of time you did creating on editing you will never get a publisher interested. Also, don’t sacrifice your dream to make it fit a certain publisher's standard; there are so many niche publishers out there, so keep looking. I spent 2 years sending synopsis after synopsis to publishers. (Though don't just ignore criticism; do consider any feedback you get, especially if you're being rejected for the same small reason over and over.)


Thanks for chatting with me today, Elspeth!

To find out more about Elspeth and her books, check out these links:

Elspeth's author page at Lioness Publishing: http://lionesspublishing.com/meet-the-authors/elspeth-grace-hall

Elspeth's Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Elspeth-Grace-Hall/e/B00XYOY9TC/

Elspeth's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ElspethGraceHall




Elspeth's book, The Adventures of Puss Puss




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