Tag Archives: Children’s

Pauline Holyoak Award Winning Author…

PaulineWhat inspired you to write your first book? – Every summer, when I was a child, we would visit my aunt and uncle at their quaint little cottage on Salisbury Plain. It was called Scotland Lodge and was situated not far from the historical Stonehenge. My uncle worked as a farm hand for the local squire. My aunt tended the manor house. It was there as I roamed free, deep within the English countryside, that I experienced joy, enchantment and some very strange and frightening occurrences. It was like a fairytale kingdom with a sinister twist. The memories of my summers at Scotland Lodge stayed with me, as a sort of nagging unsolved mystery all my life. A few years ago I revisited my childhood wonderland (the old place still emanates a strange and eerie essence) and was led by some mysterious force into concocting this story and writing this trilogy. It is from my mystifying experiences at Scotland Lodge that this story has emerged.


Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)? – Yes, Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge was my first book. I have four published books, my trilogy and one children’s book. I have just finished my second children’s book and hope to get it published by the end of the year.


How much of the book is realistic? – About 50%. Scary…! I know.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life? – All of my characters are based on people I know, family members and friends. It’s up to them to figure out, who’s who…lol

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why? – My protagonist’s aunt, Auntie Em. She is a little bit of my mom, a little bit of my grandmother. The good bits and the bad bits…

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? – Not one thing!

Ultimate Sacrifice

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to aspiring authors? – It’s not as hard as you think. A novel is a story about people; it’s as simple as that. It has a beginning, middle, an end, and a whole lot of conflict in between. The author creates the people, involves them in the conflict, and justifies their reason for being there. Writing a successful novel depends on four things –a little talent, lots of determination, a vivid imagination and skill. No one can teach you the first three but skill is something you ‘can’ learn. The average reader demands several things of a novel – a strong plot, action, well developed and colorful characters, believable character motivation, a well-defined back ground, a strong style that brings vivid images to mind, and good grammar. Readers want to be entertained and if you can put emotion, dreams, and desire on paper, you ‘can’ write a novel.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project? – The last page, of the last book, in my trilogy. I share my unearthly experiences at Merryweather Lodge, with my readers.

What is your favourite theme/genre to write? – Paranormal and horror but I also like writing children’s books.

What are you currently reading? – Excuses Be Gone! (for the second time) By, Dr. Wayne Dyer. I have read all his books. He inspires me!

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? – I could never write erotica. Every time I write a love scene, I hear my mother’s scolding voice in my head, “Be a good girl, our Pauline. “She had high moral standards for her girls..lol

Melanie gets a Nanny

Do you have any pets? Yes, I love animals. I have a ginger cat named Sam U.L. And an adorable Shetland Sheepdog, named Maggie Mae.

Do you see writing as a career? – It is my life..

What do you enjoy most about writing? – Working from home and the freedom to write whenever I please.

Do you have a favorite place to write? For convenience, I write in my office, at my desk. But my favorite place to write is outside, in a secluded spot, surrounded by Mother Nature. She inspires me..

Where do you see yourself in ten years? – On the Bestsellers list! You can’t blame a girl for dreaming.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? – The editing. I hate it!!!

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer? – I like to plan my stories but sometimes my protagonist gets her fingers on the key board and takes me where ‘she’ wants to go. I let her get on with it…

What age did you start writing stories/poems? – As soon as I could write and before that I wrote stories in my head and told them to my imaginary friend. She was always so attentive. lol

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be? – England. I grew up there and it will always be home to me. If it wasn’t for my children and their families living here in Canada, I’d move back to England, tomorrow.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager? – My friends!!!

Have you ever hated something you wrote? – Not if it was published. Well, I wouldn’t admit to it…lol

What book do you wish you had written? – Harry Potter..! Who wouldn’t?

Do you spend much time marketing? – Oh yes, much more than I care to. Years ago one would write a book, get it published then sit back and collect the royalties. It’s not that way anymore. Most authors are not salesmen, public speakers or comfortable being in the limelight but we are expected to promote ourselves, as well as our books, even by the big publishing houses. I attend writer’s functions, book sales and hold speaking engagements, whenever I can. The internet of course, is the most powerful tool an author has. There are literally hundreds of sites that will promote your book, some are free and some are very costly. I blog, do online interviews, reviews and try to keep a consistent online presence. It can be extremely time consuming but it’s an important element in establishing ones writing career.

What genre is your next project? What is it about? – It’s a children’s fantasy.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? – It’s called, Carly’s Incredible Dream. It’s about a young girl with huge imagination, who wakes up one day, in a land of dreams…

How do we find your books, blog, and bio? This is my website www.paulineholyoak.com all of my links are on here. Please pop over and visit me there. View my videos, read my articles and find out what makes me tick!

Connect with Pauline and her books:

Website:  www.paulineholyoak.com.

Facebook. HTTP://www.facebook.com/PaulineHolyoak.

My children’s book is available at. www.weecreekpress.com

My adult books are available at.www.whiskeycreekpress.com

Joint Interview – Juliette Oliver and Anita Bagdi…

Nimble – definition: 1. quick and light in movement; moving with ease; agile 2. quick to understand, think, devise

Today’s word is perfect for Juliette Oliver and Anita Bagdi as their book is yoga inspired! Firstly, here is Juliette’s interview.


What do you enjoy most about writing?

The freedom to express my creativity through rhyme; whether it be profundity or nonsense, I find my thoughts find some fluidity in rhyme.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I enjoyed writing as a teenager and I would definitely say my strongest subject was Literacy. However, I didn’t really begin to write poetry until I was about 26. I remember being very inspired whilst out walking with my children, to write about the seasons. Shortly after, I became a teacher which presented me with many opportunities to write poetry as examples for lessons and also longer pieces as assembly scripts.

Has your genre changed or stayed the same?

I feel I write in two styles: predominantly playful and humorous poetry; also, more profound pieces, which are a little more enigmatic.

What genre are you currently reading?


Do you read for pleasure or research or both?

Both. I find time restricts the amount I read for pleasure and I am incessantly inquisitive so I read lots of science!

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

Anita Bagdi – My illustrator and partner in Little Yogi Adventures – we inspire each other and the same level of intense enthusiasm just wouldn’t be there without our synergy.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

We haven’t so much created characters – we have created stories with the same characters (The Little Yogis) but different themes. Our next theme is The Deep Blue Sea, our current book is The Jungle Story. We wanted to keep the characters generic as The Little Yogis actually represents all the Little people I teach each week – so it could be any of them!

Where is your favorite writing space?

The beach or my sofa with a good cup of coffee!

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants writer?

Our stories require planning of yoga sequences and planning of a message we would like to convey. Once we have that, then I can compose a poem/rhyme to match the yoga sequence (each posture has a name – the rhyme is written around them). All sounds straight forward but actually they continuously overlap as I swap/change and tweak both wording and physical movement.

What inspires your ideas/stories?

Watching my Little Yogis do and LOVE yoga. They also create little stories and rhymes to do yoga to, and they are very good at it! I watch what they enjoy and listen to what makes them laugh/feel calm/ feel energized and happy, and then I try to use yoga stories to enhance all of these qualities,

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

Not as yet!

Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?


Little Yogi Adventures – The Jungle Story.

It can be purchased through our website: http://www.littleyogiadventures.co.uk/


Amazon  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Yogi-Adventures-Jungle-Story/dp/1291383719/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1376493856&sr=8-5&keywords=little+yogi+adventures

Lulu – The online market place.  http://www.lulu.com/shop/juliette-oliver-and-anita-bagdi/little-yogi-adventures-the-jungle-story/paperback/product-21083202.html

 If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?

Well, in an ideal world …..Dr Suess! He is my inspiration as he manages to convey important and profound life messages through humour and rhyme. The ultimate poem being ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’. My second choice would be Alan Ahlberg as he is also incredibly deft with world play and making the most mundane scenarios humorous.

Where can readers find you and your blog?


 Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

Yes, the next one is written and the yoga has been composed. We just need to get painting! Keep a look out for The Deep Blue.

And here is Anita’s interview:


What do you enjoy most about illustrating?

I  enjoy to let my pencil to spread the ideas onto paper. Sometimes it comes out totally differently as I imagined in my head, as if that pencil had control over my hand! Sometimes it appears much better than I imagined! Sometimes I have it exactly how I pictured. Honestly, that drawing pencil can be a magical tool when it links to a mind!

After drafting ideas, I have a go with colours –  mainly water colour. That again,gives a different feel to the picture. Maybe some ink or pen to outline bits at the end. Just follow feelings, no learnt structure or routine. My husband catches  me smiling while I `m drawing and painting pictures. It’s my kind of meditation.

What age did you start drawing and painting?

I always dreamed to be an children’s book illustrator, since I was 6 years old. But I have never `learnt any school stuff` about drawing/painting and that actually gave me complete freedom to find my own style. I just love drawing since I can hold a pencil.

Little girl

Has your style changed or stayed the same?

As your mind and experiences are changing in your life so are your characters changing. You explore more media, techniques, create new characters, feelings, you learn all the time. Yet, topics can  and will change with time, your style somehow will always stays recognizable.


Do you have any favorite illustrators who can inspire you?

Oliver Jeffers,Emily Gravett, Lynne Chapmann, Corey Godbey, some Hungarian illustrators like Mari Takacs, Katalin Szegedi  just to mention a few great ones and I also follow inspiring blogs.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My husband – he`s always there for me, if it`s about creating some free time for some art work next to my teaching job or helping to find inspiration or just simply making a good coffee for me…he is a big kid with lots of unusual, fun ideas and real imagination. He is really my `other half`.

Also, my friends, their children, the coffee times with them, and the children in my class at school.

No mentor, I learn as I go.

Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

I like `working` with the Cloud Girls. They already have their stories, all waiting for me to create the pictures to them. I love the colours and the gentle flow of lines on these pictures. Somehow they make you feel, that you also want to be there with that very same cloud.

Cloud (1)

Where is your favorite space to do your art work?

At home, at my desk, preferably during daylight with some music. It’s very important for me to tidy everything up first, so I have a clean, organized starting point and I can be ready to create  and rule my very own mess! 🙂

Do you belong to a illustrator/art group? If so which one?

Not really, however I follow some inspiring groups like Illustration Friday, Creative Tuesday and try to participate as much as possible. It`s great to share your art with others and also to give and get some feedback on your work.


Do you have a book published? If so, what is it called & where can readers purchase it?

Our first book just came out this summer. It’s an interactive rhyming yoga story for children, Little Yogi Adventures – The Jungle Story. You can order it from our website or straight from http://www.lulu.com.

You also can find some useful guidelines of how to use the book on our Facebook page.





If you could meet one favourite author, who would it be and why?

Oliver Jeffers – love his stories, the life lessons in his stories,  his gentle humor in his art.  I’m a big fan of his.

Where can readers find you and your blog?



Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

We are already working on the next Little Yogi Adventure: the Deep Blue Sea.

There is another children’s book almost ready and waiting to be published, called Bananas. It`s a charming story of two children who try to find out more about the different kind of  bananas.


And I have my own characters, the Cloud Girls, whose stories I really would like to paint – this will be a fun project later.

Cloud 2

Book Review of Distinction…

Rumble's First Scare











When I first wrote Rumble’s story it was the response to a writing prompt on my writing circle’s web site (www.wfscsherwoodpark.com) – obviously it was around Halloween thereby having my thoughts turning to monsters. It occured to me that instead of writing from the victim’s viewpoint why not the monster’s? That is essentially how Rumble came about – a thought of ‘what if’ and my little character came into being. Having my story published was a huge achievement but when I received my first book review I was ecstatic. I want to share it with you all because this fifth grader’s review is my most treasured possession… it makes writing Rumble all the more worthwhile.