It’s been a while since I’ve done an author Q&A, so we are kicking off in style with the tremendously talented Jude Lennon. Why not give her a follow on Instagram or Facebook?
Jude Lennon is a former Early Years teacher who now works as a Storyteller under the name Little Lamb Tales. She tells stories at Primary schools, community events, festivals and libraries. Jude is also a children’s author and is the current Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate for the North West of England. As an official Patron of Reading, Jude works with schools to spread the message about reading and writing for pleasure.
Jude published her first book, The Dragon of Allerton Oak in 2015. Set in her local park (Calderstones) it features the real Allerton Oak which has stood there for 1000 years. Since then, Jude has gone on to publish twenty further books.
Her books cover topics as diverse as mindfulness for children, phonics, dragons, pirates, astronauts, environmental issues and books set in other countries (including two bilingual English/Spanish ones).
Her most recent children’s book ‘Sir Lambalot’ was released on April 23rd and is her twenty first book!
She is currently working on a full length novel called Kintsugi. This should be released in 2022.
A proud member of Team Author UK, Jude is Head of Author Development in the children’s department and also provides a range of courses and writing retreats.
Getting to Know You
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I was an Early Years teacher for 18 years so I was always writing stories and poems for the children in my class. When I left teaching and set up my storytelling business, I told one of my stories at an event and a little boy asked if I was going to put it in a book!
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Reading, walking, singing with friends and camping in my 1974 VW camper van. She also features in one of my books.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Seeing children’s faces when I read my books to them. Watching them join in with the actions, repeat the words, then make up their own versions is fabulous. Plus, encouraging children to enjoy books is vital. Books open the pages of the world.
The Writing Process
What is your writing process?
For picture books, I brain dump into a mind map then hand write a first draft. I leave it alone for a few weeks then return and make changes and then type it up for further changes. It all starts with a notebook and pen though.
With my full length novel, I formed a writing support group where we would submit chapters each month for feedback. It’s been so useful. Again hand written first then typed up.
How do you get inspired to write?
In many ways – nature, being outside, music (though not while I actually write), people watching, overhearing snippets of conversation.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Write, write and write. Read, read and read. Join a writing group.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Anything by Agatha Christie.
Once Upon a River, by Diane Setterfield.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by John Boyne
The Five, by Hallie Rubenhold
The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue, by VE Schwab
How do you discover the books you read?
I run an online book/culture appreciation group (Extra Slice of Lennon) and we choose a book each month. Plus I’ve been in a Face to Face book club for about 4 years and we choose a different book each month as well. We’ve just gone back to face to face meetings which is lovely.
I also see what other people are reading.
What books are on your reading list this year?
My TBR pile is always changing. Currently on there are some historical fiction mysteries by E M Powell. I’d also like to read more Bella Ellis books and more by Sophie Hannah.
A Slice of Lennon
In this collection of short stories, you’ll meet a range of characters embarking on adventures of self-discovery, healing, resolution, intrigue and mystery. The settings are as diverse as the themes, temping you into rugged landscapes, ancient castles, beautiful beaches and an icy wilderness.
If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, escape and reflect in equal measure, you’ve found it. Pour your drink of choice, add A Slice of Lennon and enjoy.Jude Lennon
What inspired you to write A Slice of Lennon?
I’m in a writing group which has been meeting for about four years. Each month we have a different theme to write around. One month I was given an additional challenge – writing something for adults. I loved it and now I rarely write anything for children for the group. I chose some of the stories I’d written for the group and put together a collection of short stories. In a busy world, a short story can be just what you need for a quick break.
Is there going to be a follow up to A Slice of Lennon?
I haven’t completely ruled it out. Maybe ‘Another Slice of Lennon’ will make it to press one day. For now though I’m concentrating on another children’s book project and my novel which will hopefully be released in Spring 2022.