We are incredibly happy for Pippa as her debut picture book is set to release on April 5th, 2019. Parents will love reading COUNTING SHEEP to their children at bedtime. We imagine Pippa was inspired by all the fleecy sheep frolicking along the England countryside, where she grew up. Are we right? You can learn more about where Pippa gets her inspiration in this interview, whether it’s from the U.K. or her current home in Singapore. Congratulations, Pippa!
What other careers have you worked in prior to becoming an author?
Before becoming an author I worked in Public Relations for a major Food and Retail chain in the UK. I wrote press releases on store openings and clothes lines which was great fun, but the part I enjoyed the most was helping to promote their fantastic social work with unemployed and homeless people. It is a wonderful thing to write positive stories that can really make a difference to other people’s lives. Following that I embarked on a career as a Primary School Teacher where I taught reception level children. I loved in particular teaching them phonetic reading skills and comprehension and this is where I developed my greatest love, children’s picture book stories. I couldn’t get enough of them then and I still can’t!
Where do you find your ideas?
I often find inspiration whilst out in the countryside on dog walks with my bouncy spaniel Jasper. We always have great fun spotting squirrels, sticks and birds! I also find inspiration in my three children, the way they play and interact with friends and the things they say. Sometimes I discuss new ideas with my children to see if they think they might work before I pen them down. The other place I seek inspiration is through visits to the zoo. I love fascinating facts about animals an often find a story buried in amongst the factual information written up on boards beside the animal.
What does my writing schedule look like on a weekly basis?
Being a mum of three young children who love to be active means I don’t get as much writing time as I would always like. I have to squeeze it in where ever I can. One of my favourite places to write, edit and daydream are on my dog walks, which have become a source of great creativity for me. I also like to work in coffee shops where there is a quiet hum of general life around me as writing at home day in and day out can be a little lonely if you never venture out. I am a member of a number of critique groups too so I meet other lovely writing friends twice a week each week and hone my editing skills! Typically my week goes a bit like this: on Monday I critique and then on Tuesday I write, on Wednesday I critique again and on Thursday and Friday I write some more.
At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a writer?
For me that was very early on. I wrote often as a child to help process my thoughts and better understand my feelings and the world around me. It felt a natural thing to do and I have never stopped. I even have a beautiful beaded blue diary which contains poems I wrote throughout my childhood, particularly from the ages of 13 onwards that still lives in a cupboard beside my bed. It is a reminder that if you don’t give up dreams really can come true! When I studied English Language at A-level as part of my coursework I chose to write, illustrate and bind my very own picture book, it was called The Tale of Fluke the Dolphin. Someday I hope to pull it out of storage and revisit it!
What do you do in your free time?
Most of my free time is spent with my three children, swimming, going to the beach and playing games, my eldest is now getting into scrabble! But when I am not with my family I enjoy having a coffee with friends, country walks and most of all singing! I am a member of a lovely choir in Singapore that performs twice a year in public and practices the rest. I have made wonderful friends doing something I love and it always brings me great joy to sing. I am also a member of a book club which keeps me engaged with different genres and writing styles all the time. Last month we read a fantastic memoir and this month we are reading a historical fiction novel. I love books and reading and it is always lovely to get together with my friends to discuss a good book.
What would you like readers to know about you?
I love living with my family in Asia. Not only does it have great weather, but it is a melting pot of different cultures, religions and ethnicities and we are surrounded by the beauty that diversity brings to life. I am ever grateful that my children are brought up in a community that does not judge each other by their religion or race. I hope that one day, during my writing career, that I am able to write a book that will inspire others to share my vision of a more loving world.