Huge welcome to the talented Leonie Roberts, her debut picture book My Colourful Chameleon – illustrated by Mike Byrne – has just hit the shelves.
Tell us about you in 25 words or less.
I am a dog-loving, qualified Primary School teacher who simply adores reading and writing.
How would you describe your writing style?
Ooo, this is a tricky one. I am still very much developing my writing style but I tend to aim for simple and funny because these are the types of books that I enjoy reading myself. I shall let you know what my middle grade style is at a later date…
What makes you happy?
Simple things make me happy like spending time with my dog Chester, family and friends. Actually, thinking about it – writing makes me happy and that is probably why I do it. I also love watching films and singing in my spare time.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I like to write in the dining room which has a desktop PC. Normally, my writing companion Chester the cavalier is curled up in his basket by my feet. I do however usually start new stories in a notebook and then move onto the PC once I have made a good start.
What’s on your TBR pile at the moment?
I have lots of middle grade books on my TBR pile at the moment as I have been studying them more so than picture books over the last year. I am looking forward to making a start on Kate Umansky’s Witch for a Week because I grew up reading her Pongwiffy series.
What’s your worst habit?
I’m a perfectionist and an over-thinker which means I waste time spending longer than needed doing certain tasks.
Your favourite word(s)?
My favourite word would have to be scrumptious because it reminds me of my childhood and watching films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
What are your top tips for budding childrens’ picture book writers?
Immerse yourself in picture books. Before you even begin to write, study how the picture books that you like actually work. If you are writing in rhyme, type out some successful rhyming picture books to see how many syllables the writer has used in each line and how they have created the rhythm. Also, make sure you join a critique group so that you can get feedback on your work from people who don’t feel obliged to say that it is great.
Can you give us a glimpse / hint at your current WIP? (I can bribe you with cake!)
I am working on two new picture books texts and an early middle grade novel. Dinosaurs, aliens and trolls are involved.
Just for fun
Tea or coffee?
Tea (I don’t drink coffee)
Paper books or e-books?
ALWAYS paper books if they are children’s books but I read e-books on holiday.
Cake or chocolate?
Write or type?
Writing first to start off then typing.
Poetry or prose?
Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin?
Hot or cold?
Hot! I hate the cold
My Colourful Chameleon is a delightful picture book featuring a rather unusual pet!
Little readers will have great fun spotting the chameleon on the various pages, thanks to Mike Byrne’s clever illustrations. Leonie Robert’s rhyming narrative nicely depicts the mother daughter relationship, and in particular the mother’s frustration at this tricksy pet! Great fun.