Tell us about your latest children’s book ‘Magical Tales from the Woodpecker Tree’.
– The book is the third in a series that began with ‘Tales from the Woodpecker Tree’ published in 2017, followed by ‘Christmas Tales from the Woodpecker Tree’ in 2018. Each book is a collection of short stories, many of which are aimed at increasing children’s awareness of the natural world. From friendly owls and grumpy badgers to a three-toed Woodpecker, it’s all there!
How did you first get into writing children’s books?
– As a primary school teacher, I was always writing. I loved making up stories with the children or sharing my ideas with them. After I retired in 2013 I decided to see if I could do anything with the stories I’d written and was lucky enough to meet author Jude Lennon and go on one of her writing courses. Through her I met Sue Miller and became involved with Team Author UK – that set me on my way.
Where do you like to write and do you have any ‘writing rituals’?
– In the summer months I like nothing better than writing in my conservatory, with the door open on to the garden, or even out of doors. I dream of having a writing shed in the garden, but I’d need a considerably bigger piece of land! I don’t think I have any rituals really; when the muse strikes I just sit down and write. I used to be a pen and paper girl, but now I prefer to write and edit straight on to the computer.
What is your next writing project?
– In 2020 I published my first novel aimed at 9 -12 year olds, ‘De Morville’s Sword’, and I knew then that, although I love writing short stories, longer novels are what I really want to do. Since then, I’ve been working on a book called ‘Osprey Girl’ set in the Scottish Highlands. Maggie is a little girl who is trying to adjust to a new way of life and she becomes involved in a drama, trying to save an Osprey nest from disaster.
If you had to pick one author to invite around for dinner, who would you chose and why?
This is so difficult! I enjoy reading such a wide range of books, but as a children’s author I think I would like to sit down with Emma Carroll whose life experiences mirror my own in many ways: former teacher, cancer survivor. I’d love to discuss how she is inspired by historical events as this is something I have in mind for future books of my own.
You can find Lesley on: www.lesleyrawlinsonauthor.co.uk
Facebook – @LesleyRawlinsonBooks
Twitter – @lesleysworld