When I’m in schools, I’m often asked for book recommendations, and Claire Fayers’ new novel, Storm Hound, has been top of my list ever since I read it. It has the best opening paragraph EVER!
So I’m super excited that she agreed to an interview …
What are you working on now? Is there a potential sequel to Storm Hound?
I’m currently working on a couple of new proposals to send in to my publisher. It’s too soon to say which one will be my next book but I’m having great fun playing with ideas. I would love to write a Storm Hound sequel. It’ll be up to my publisher but if Storm Hound does well you never know. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Could you share any childhood pics either of you in the Welsh hills or of you writing?
I wish I could, but my parents didn’t take any pictures of me when I was growing up. All I have is one photograph of me holding my cello after I won the cup for music in primary school. Everyone assumed I’d grow up to be a music teacher. I didn’t know it was possible to be an author back then.
To make up for the lack of photos, here’s a pic of an early story I wrote in school. I liked writing about animals even then!
And here’s another of me taken last year, sitting on top of Mount Skirrid where Storm fell from the sky.
Did you have any pets as a child?
Yes, loads. We had guinea pigs, a rabbit, two dogs and a succession of hamsters (not all at the same time, I hasten to add!) But the pet that I truly loved above all others was my cat Mitzi. She was an ordinary black and white moggy. She died when I was about twelve and I didn’t get another cat until I owned my own home, much later. Obviously, I had to write a cat into Storm Hound – look out for Nutmeg.
What are your top tip for parents to encourage their youngsters to write?
Fill your house with books. Make regular trips to the library with your children as a love of writing usually starts with a love of reading. Make up stories with your children. Lead by example and set aside some time to write together. Keep a stash of fun pens and paper in different colours. Don’t correct or criticise your children’s efforts. Encourage them to write letters to relatives (and get the relatives to write back – nothing beats getting your very own letter through the post!)
And before you go, this is a tricky one: Michael Morpugo or Phillip Pullman?
Oh gosh. They are both masters, and their books are so different it’s hard to choose. But my reading (and writing) habits do tend to go towards fantasy so I’d have to say Pullman.
Thanks so much for a fun interview.
Thanks Claire! I didn’t know you played cello and wrote stories about horses as a kid – me too.
If you haven’t come across Claire before, here’s some more info.
Claire Fayers grew up in South Wales, studied English at the University of Kent, and is now back in Wales where she spends a lot of her free time tramping around castles in the rain, looking for dragons.
She has worked as a church caretaker, a shoe shop assistant, in accountancy, in health and safety, in IT, and in a library. Only one of these prepared her in any way for life as a full-time author. She works from her home in Cardiff, sharing her workspace with a pair of demanding cats and an ever-expanding set of model dinosaurs. Storm Hound is her fourth book for Macmillan Children’s Books.
Storm of Odin is the youngest stormhound of the Wild Hunt that haunts lightning-filled skies. He has longed for the time when he will be able to join his brothers and sisters but on his very first hunt he finds he can’t keep up and falls to earth, landing on the A40 just outside Abergavenny.
Enter twelve-year-old Jessica Price, who finds and adopts a cute puppy from an animal rescue centre. And suddenly, a number of strange people seem very interested in her and her new pet, Storm. People who seem to know a lot about magic . . .
In Claire Fayers’ electrifying adventure Storm Hound, Jessica starts to see that there’s something different about her beloved dog and will need to work out which of her new friends she can trust.