THE CALL OF THE HERMIT CRAB – Part One in a profile of Children’s author, Lee Fox

Australian children’s author, Lee Fox was raised in a home where there were no books, but she has always loved reading and writing. She says that in 2000, after many years of asking herself what she was going to be when she grew up, she finally decided to have a go at writing.

Over the next two posts she’s going to be sharing with us how she became a published author, and how she creates her books for children.

You were often the sole parent of five children, was it a difficult decision choosing to become a writer?

After I decided that writing was my purpose in life, I summoned the courage to go for it. I set about learning my craft and trying to gain a profile as a writer.

Did you do any formal studies?

I did a correspondence course and a number of short writing courses, and I enrolled in Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT.

I read stacks of books on writing, but most importantly, I wrote.

Congratulations on your book Ten Little Hermit Crabs being awarded a 2010 CBCA Notable Award. Can you tell us where the inspiration for this story came from?

A family holiday in Fiji a few years back. My daughter and I used to play with the hundreds of hermit crabs scuttling on the beach at sunset. When I relived the memories at home, a refrain started going through my head – Hush says the seashore, shh says the sea. I knew there was a new story about to emerge. I love that kind of inspiration.

What’s Ten Little Hermit Crabs about?

It’s a simple story for children aged 1-6 about ten quirky hermit crabs and their exciting day on the beach.

It’s a counting backwards story so on each spread one crab has an adventure and disappears (but not forever). There’s a happy reunion at the end of the book.

Why will kids like Ten Little Hermit Crabs ?

Kids like rhythm and repetition, and there are some great words like skedaddle, scuttle sprint and frolic for them to enjoy; as well as the lilting refrain that sparked the idea for the book. Then of course there are the great illustrations.

What do you love most about the illustrations?

It’s not that easy to give a hermit crab personality but Shane McG has done a fantastic job. He has captured their adventurous spirit and cuteness.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book.

I enjoyed finding a place for the refrain Hush says the seashore, shh says the sea. It was also a joy to write on a sea theme as it brought back many happy beach memories from my childhood, particularly when Shane started sending his beautiful illustrations through.

Ten Little Hermit Crabs is Lee Fox’s fourth out of six published books.

On Wednesday, Lee is coming back to Kid’s Book Capers to talk about Ginger McFlea Will Not Clean Her Teeth, and why Ginger McFlea is her favourite character, out of all the characters she has created.

Hope you can join us then.

Dee

Welcome to Kids’ Book Capers

I’m so excited to be one of the new bloggers for Boomerang Books. My new blog, Kids’ Book Capers is going to be full of fun things to do with books, and the people who write and illustrate them.

Today is a special day for Australian Children’s Books with the announcement of the CBCA Shortlistings and Notable books for 2010 http://www.cbca.org.au

Congratulations to all the authors, illustrators and publishers whose books have been recognised in this year’s awards.

So many great books by so many wonderful authors and illustrators. And many of these talented people will be visiting Kids’ Book Capers to talk about how they write and draw, and create the characters and stories we love.

Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy is just one of this years worthy CBCA winners.

Pearl needs poetry to help her get through the hard things that are happening in her life – the illness of her granny, being accused of stealing someone’s boyfriend, and clashing with her teacher over poetry that doesn’t rhyme.

When you read Pearl Verses the World, you feel as if Pearl sat on author Sally Murphy’s knee and spoke to her – asking for her story to be told.

Sally says,

I had wanted to write a verse novel for some time – it was on my list of vague ‘to-dos’.  I loved the form and thought that one day I would sit down, really study the form in detail, look for books or articles on writing the verse novel and then eventually sit down and have a go at one myself. In reality, this isn’t what happened. Instead, the story came to me in verse from, and so that is how I wrote it. When the verses first started coming, I didn’t realise I was going to sit down and write a verse novel.

Over coming posts, we’ll be talking to other authors and finding out  about books to make you giggle, books to scare your pants off, and books that have just been released.

If you want to find out why some kid’s authors have never grown up, stay tuned to Kid’s Book Capers every Monday and Wednesday, and sometimes on Fridays.

Dee:-)