My Guest Author today is talented children's author and fellow Sassie, Linda Strachan. Linda's latest book, Don't Judge Me, is published by Strident Publishing.
Don't Judge Me is about four teenagers and a fire that is started deliberately in a block of flats. Could one of them have started the fire? It's about friendship, trust and doubt. We all make snap judgements – about our friends, people we meet, and other people's motives. But what if we are wrong? What if a life depends on getting it right?
Take 4 teens, an arsonist, an unreliable witness and four different motives. With life and death on the line – Don't Judge Me
I asked Linda to tell us a little about herself.
How did you get started writing?
I never really imagined that I would be a writer. I didn't know anyone who was a writer and it never really entered my head that is might be something I could do. One Christmas holiday I had a bit of free time and I started to draw and write a picture book, just for fun. I discovered very quickly that although I enjoy drawing and painting I preferred telling the story in words and I was never likely to be good enough to become an illustrator. That picture book never got published, but it started me writing and soon after that I wrote a short story for a competition in our local library and to my surprise, I won.
It seemed right to use the prize money as part of the fee for a correspondence course in creative writing. Looking at those on offer, the only one I thought sounded even remotely interesting was the one on writing for children. By the time I was half way though the course I had my first contract for a series of 8 books for reluctant readers. I never imagined I would become a writer, but now I can't think of anything I'd rather do.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I once had a flying lesson in a small plane when I was a teenager. My father had his pilot's licence and thought I should try it but I wasn't very enthusiastic and was glad to get back on the ground again.
What is your best tip for writers?
Write! It might seem like a strange thing to say but like any other craft you need to hone your skills and the best way is to keep writing and looking at ways to improve the way you tell the story, to keep it fresh and interesting to the reader. Especially if you have just received a rejection letter, or good news. Use that moment to write - use the emotion to make a character act in a particular way.
Linda Strachan has written over 60 books for children and young adults, and a writing handbook, 'Writing for Children' for new and aspiring writers. Her books are used in schools all over the world. Linda travels widely speaking in schools, festivals and conferences about her books and creative writing. She lives with her husband in a small village in the south east of Scotland. When she is not writing, or talking about writing she likes travelling and reading, cooking and artichokes, olives and chocolate.
Thanks for visiting my blog, Linda!