HAYWIRE by Claire Saxby + Some Writing Secrets

Today, the wonderful and talented Claire Saxby is visiting DeeScribe Writing to talk about her first historical fiction, Haywire, published by Scholastic Australia and she’s sharing some secrets about her writing process.

Claire  writes award-winning fiction, non-fiction and poetry for children. Her books include ‘Bird to Bird’ and ‘Dingo’, ‘Seadog’ and ‘There Was an Old Sailor’. Her books and poetry are published in Australia and internationally.


In 1939, 14-year-old Tom lives in Hay where his family runs the local bakery. Max Gruber is nearly fourteen-years-old. He is sent to his Uncle Ferdy in London, but is then interred and shipped to Australia aboard the Dunera. He arrives in Hay and meets Tom. The two boys become friends and find their lives and their friendship influenced by a far-away conflict in Europe. (from the publisher – Scholastic Australia)

Born on opposite sides of the world, Tom and Max live very different lives that both long to escape. In this compelling tale of an unlikely friendship, the two boys have been brought together by war.

Max’s frightening voyage on the Dunera keeps us spell bound and even once he arrives in Australia, life doesn’t get much easier for him after he finds himself in the Hay internment camp, shunned by most of the outside world as an ‘enemy alien’.

In her novel, HAYWIRE, Claire Saxby documents a little known passage of the Australian WW11 experience.

Tom and Max are both well crafted and relatable characters and readers can connect with their vulnerabilities and the fear and uncertainty that war brings.

Tom’s family life is authentically Australian and rich in the detail and experiences of the time in which the story is set.

Although HAYWIRE is set in a time of great tragedy and fear, we are left with hope and a belief that life for both Tom and Max will turn out okay in spite of the situation and war that their countries have thrust them into.

This well researched work of historical fiction is for readers aged 9 to 12 and has been shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Young People’s History Prize. Congratulations Claire.


  1. What inspired you to write this book?

I knew about the Dunera, the ship that brought so many internees to Australia in 1940, but I didn’t know much. I did know that a substantial number of the internees elected to stay in Australia rather than return to England once the British government acknowledged their wrongful internment. I did know that this was an extraordinary group of men, who contributed enormously to Australia. But I knew nothing about how they came to be in Hay and what the locals thought. And I wanted to.

  1. Who/what inspired the characters of Tom and Max?

Max came first. I had this sense of a teenage boy picked up by a tidal wave and swept from his world to the world of war, where he is judged purely by his heritage, his accent. No one asked how he felt, what he wanted. And the size of the wave that carried him on allowed little time for him to even consider more than surviving. Until he reaches Hay. Tom’s life looks simple in comparison, but he too is caught up in the war at home and it tears at his life, his security too. He, like Max, has little time to really process what’s going on, and what he really wants. I wanted to show that the quiet ones are as ripped apart by war as those who shout loudly.

  1. Can you talk us through the research process?

Research took a very long time and continued throughout writing and redrafting! There were two main reasons for this. The first is that it’s all fascinating and it’s so easy to disappear down paths that may well lead to more interesting information, but which don’t necessarily contribute directly to the novel. The second reason is because in order to represent both 1939/1940 Europe and Hay, NSW accurately I needed to know so much! I needed the timeline to WWII in Germany and England, in Australia in general, and Hay in particular. Then I needed to know what life was like in Hay at the time (and that involved spending a lot – A LOT – of time on Trove, reading the twice-weekly regional newspaper.

Each reading exposed holes in my knowledge and let to more research. I thought I’d done enough research and was somewhere in the middle of drafting (tenth draft?) when I had the chance to visit Hay (It’s on the way from Melbourne to Canberra, right?). Much of what I’d researched was right, but there were several fundamental errors on my part – and each of those meant that if I wanted the story to be as close to real as I could make it, I needed to rewrite a number of key scenes. Aggh! But ultimately it was worth it.

  1. What Surprising Things Did you discover through the research process?

So many. There were so many things that I just hadn’t thought about, eg why did they chose Hay for the internment camps? (criteria included being far from the coast, having transport access, being built on sand to prevent escape attempts). Surprises were big and small and ranged from fathers being rounded up for internment in England, even when sons were employed by the army (and vice versa) to the camp having their own currency.

I met a man who had been a child at the time the internees arrived and he told me that there’d been Gatling guns set up inside the station, trained on the disembarking men. The same man told me about his father setting up on the chimney of their house, armed with several weapons and prepared to shoot if any of the men appeared on the street. Another surprise was that around 20 % of the internees were under 20 years-old.

  1. Writing tips

Claire’s latest release, Kookaburra

I use an A4 workbook for my research, in addition to online research. I write notes in it, on only one side of the page, with reference notes (reference book details and page number or online reference details etc). Sometimes I print out pages too, glue them in and highlight relevant information.

Don’t have too many characters. After writing mostly picture books, I thought, here is my chance to have lots of characters, and it is, but beware of having so many that it becomes confusing. Tom had many more siblings, reflecting family sizes of the time, but not all of them had enough of a role to justify their existence. Some had to go.

Research broadly, from multiple sources. Trove was a … treasure trove! It allowed me access to several regional newspapers, each with their own focus. All were helpful. The internet is wonderful and so are books. Each provides some of the same information, which is useful for corroboration, but each also provides different information, which helps to flesh out the historical world I was entering.

You can find out more about Claire and her work at https://clairesaxby.wordpress.com/





Tuesday Writing Tips – Claire Saxby PB Author Extraordinaire

Claire400kbClaire Saxby is the author of vibrant fiction and non-fiction picture books that have international appeal for young readers.

Her books are known for their gentle humour and richness of language.

Claire writes visual stories that give the illustrator plenty of scope to bring her words to life.

She’s had some fabulous new releases this year including her cute and funny picture book, SeaDog and her latest release, Big Red Kangaroo.

I’m a dog lover who used to live by the sea so I wanted to share my thoughts about Claire’s special book, SeaDog.

Later in this post, Claire will share some great tips on how to write a picture book.


SeaDog is the story of a dog who loves the sea – he’s kind of like an old sailor really – it’s in his bones.

One of the things I love about this book is that Sea Dog is just that, a sea dog, and he can’t be coerced or shaped into something he’s not. His actions and way of thinking are so authentically ‘dog’.

SeaDog is full of lyrical language and beautiful illustrations by Tom Jellet. On the surface, it’s a sea story, but it’s one of those books where you can find different layers – and underneath the fun is the theme of “you are who you are”. And in spite of his quirks, SeaDog is clearly loved for who he is.

Sea Dog is not out to impress anyone – he’s just a loveable, lively mutt who loves life.

SeaDog is a great story to read to kids, with the language and rhythm making it easy to listen to. Kids will love Tom’s hilarious pictures that add another dimension to the text.




Claire’s latest picture book, Big Red Kangaroo was released last month.

Big Red Kangaroo is part of Walker Books, narrative non fiction series, Nature Storybooks.

“Far inland, the sun floats on the waves of a bake-earth day. Big Red and his mob of kangaroos wait for night-time when they can search for food. Young male kangaroos wait too – ready to challenge Red and take his place as leader.”

The text and illustrations for this book are beautiful. It has two parallel threads – the fictional story of Big Red, and the non-fiction thread that showcases how kangaroos live.



Here Claire shares her writing tips on how she creates her popular picture books.

1. Read contemporary picture books. Language changes over time and what resonated with children 20 years ago may not resonate now. Of course there are notable exceptions to these rules and many classics that read as well today as they did when they were first released. Read the classics, but read new ones too.

2. Read your drafts out loud. Reading out loud is a great way to identify words/phrases that are just not working as well as they need to. When you are several drafts in, ask someone you know to read it out. (don’t do it too early or you’ll wear out your willing readers). Listen for stumbles or words/phrases that interrupt flow. Having someone else read your work will show up glitches that you might miss when you, who are so familiar with the text, may miss.

3. When you have drafted your story, ask these questions: Who is the main character? What do they want? What/who is stopping them them achieving what they want? Then see if you can sum up the story in a single sentence. If you can’t, you probably need to keep working.

4. If possible, introduce the main character AND their problem/premise/promise on the opening page.

5. Realise that there are rules and guidelines for writing picture books but they are just guidelines. All rules are made to be broken. But remember that sometimes you need to know what the rules are before you break them. Follow the rules, or break them, you need to do what you do do well. And that means lots of drafts. Keep them all.

You can find out about more about Claire and her work at her website.

Have You Ever Lost Your Writer’s Voice?

Tania, me and Claire

I have. It was gone for over a month, but now it’s back – thanks to some great writer friends and the stars.

I’m in Canberra this week with my son who’s doing work experience at Mount Stromlo Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He loves astronomy so it’s going to be a great week for him.

It has worked out well for me too because it has given me time to write, and the opportunity to catch up with writer friends like Tania McCartney and Claire Saxby (who happened to be in Canberra by chance).

But most important of all, I’ve had the chance to step back and look at things from a new perspective.

I came to Canberra expecting to work on a new manuscript. I had put aside my work in progress after receiving some unsolicited feedback on my writing style that took me by surprise (not in a good way) and dried my words up.

I’m not normally this fickle – normally one manuscript is the centre of my focus and I don’t deviate from it until the current draft is finished, and I put it aside knowing that I’ve gone as far as I can at that point in time. But over recent weeks, I’ve been unable to touch my work in progress.

Inspiring Ellen Hopkins and Mo Johnson

On my way to Canberra I deviated, and that’s where I found the first piece of my voice. I went from Melbourne to Canberra via Sydney where I caught up with the Mo Johnson (author of Boofheads, Something More and Noah’s Garden, and Ellen Hopkins. Ellen’s amazing books, Crank, Impulse, Burned (and many more) were what first inspired me to try my hand at verse novels.

It was so exciting to be among YA novellists talking about YA novels. I’d been feeling a bit disheartened lately because although I’ve had quite a bit of interest from overseas, it appears that Australian publishers are not publishing the kind of YA that I write at the moment.

Just being with Mo and Ellen and talking about our writing was invigorating. It also reminded me that we have to write what’s in our hearts. As Ellen says, “We have to tell the story that we need to tell”.

Ellen’s words reminded me that although being published is fabulous, we write because we have something to say.  And so we must say it…no matter how many setbacks we have…no matter who is going to read it…we have to tell our stories in our own unique way.

So this is my week for putting aside all the things that have held me back from working on my YA thriller…that it might be ‘too dark’ or ‘too different’ or ‘too something else’.

After a long break, I’m getting back into it with fresh eyes and renewed vigour. I believe in this manuscript (I almost always have:) and I’m determined to make it work.

The break has been good for both me, and the manuscript, but now it’s time to immerse myself in it again.

Today, when I was lunching with Tania and Claire I realised that I’d let the words of one person paralyse my writing.

Whether it’s a bad review or a ‘too personal’ rejection, it can cripple our creativity, but the fact is that we have to move on.

I’m lucky to have my ever-optimistic and supportive crit buddy, Alison Reynolds who has encouraged me and had faith in me every step of the way. I’m lucky to have such wonderful and empathetic writing friends who have helped me more than they know.

If you lose your writer’s voice, here are my suggestions on how to get it back.


  1. Take a break from your manuscript
  2. Identify what’s holding you back and deal with it
  3. Find or read about inspirational people to inspire you (go to conferences, join writer’s group, go places where you can meet and share with other writers)
  4. Read books by people who inspire you.
  5. Have ceremonial burnings of painful reviews or rejection letters
  6. Celebrate your successes, large and small

Have you ever lost your writer’s voice? How did you get it back?

We’d love you to share your stories and suggestions in the comments section of this post.

Happy writing:)



Sea-themed chocolates

Last week I talked about one of the downsides of being an author, the waiting. But today I wanted to talk about the up side, celebrating the successes.

And it doesn’t matter whether it’s your success or not. It can be just as much fun being at a book launch for a writer or illustrator friend. Publishing successes are meant to be shared.

Last weekend, I launched Claire Saxby and Christina Booth’s new picture book, The Carrum Sailing Club.

Author, Claire Saxby and me

It was so exciting for me to launch this wonderful book into the world of children’s literature. But it also had personal significance. By coincidence, I spent my early childhood in Carrum, and walked across the ‘troll bridge’, played in the sand and watched the boats, just like Claire and Christina depicted in their book.

It was also great to be at a launch where both author and illustrator were present. It’s not often that you get both sides of the story, particularly when the creators come from different states and there’s an ocean between them.

There really is nothing quite like a book launch to remind you why you love books and being involved in their creation.

When I looked at the evocative, playful language Claire had used and Christina’s beach scenes I was transported back to that wonderful time when I was a carefree kid at the beach again – before I grew up and started worrying about things like world peace, the environment…and whether my manuscript would land on the right editor or agent’s desk.

That’s what a good book does, it draws you into its world and reminds you that anything can happen in your imagination.

The Carrum Sailing Club

If you’re feeling a bit despondent about your own work, why not go to someone else’s launch and help them celebrate their success…enjoy the fact that great books are being published, and remind yourself that publishing success is possible with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck.

And no matter how large or small your success, celebrate what you’ve achieved. You’ve worked hard. You’ve earned it.

Illustrator, Christina Booth

Stay focussed and positive. You never know, the next book launch (or even the one after) could be yours.

Good luck:)



Enjoying a laugh with writerly friends Marie Alfaci, Claire Saxby, Sheryl Gwyther, Elaine Ouston, Julie Nickerson and Kath Battersby

Very few children’s authors become wealthy from their writing, but it is an industry rich with wonderful people and great friendships. I was reminded of this on the weekend when I attended the CYA Conference in Brisbane.

Queensland author, Sheryl Gwyther and her husband, Ross welcomed writers from all over Australia into their home. (Thanks Sheryl and Ross – Chateau Gwyther is always a great place to stay:-)

I spent an amazing weekend, laughing, brainstorming and sharing with other authors; knowing that I am not alone – that others share my love of children’s literature – that others share the ‘ups and downs’ of working in an industry where rejections are plentiful and acceptances are few and far between and must be celebrated with relish.

On Friday night, we attended a function, Four on the Floor at Black Cat Books Paddington featuring Julie Nickerson, Aleesah Darlison, Peter Carnavas and Oliver Phommavanh.

Oliver’s hilarious talk about his new book, Thai-riffic inspired us to dine afterwards at a nearby Thai restaurant.

Illustrator, Jo Thomspon set up a gorgeous display for The Glasshouse launch.

Saturday was full on at CYA Conference where I launched Sheryl Gwyther’s hot new book Charlie and the Red Hot Chilli Pepper and Jo Thompson and Paul Collins stunning new PB, The Glasshouse.

I also attended and was inspired by sessions and workshops with Kate Forsyth, Gabrielle Wang, Prue Mason and Chris Morphew. I love hearing how other authors work and came away from each session feeling as if I had learned something valuable or heard something that would help me decide future direction/revisions to my current WIP.

The hardest part was coming away feeling so inspired and not having the time to write until I got home again.


Sunday at CYA was Hatchlings day. From about 9.00am enthusiastic young writers aged 8-16 started trickling through the door, eyes alight with excitement and perhaps a few nerves.

I was very excited at the prospect of being able to do my Heroes and Villains workshop with a whole new group of young writers. And it was wonderful.

We talked about stereotyped heroes and villains and what makes a well rounded character. The kids had two photos as a starting point and worked on developing a character based on each picture; one hero and one villain or two villains if they preferred.

As well as interviewing each character to find out more about them, they looked at the relationship between the two and how they knew each other.

It was so much fun. It was also interesting to see how quietly and intensely they worked at making each character unique and interesting.

Unfortunately time was limited so they didn’t get a chance to put their characters into conflict, but right at the start of the workshop they got to act out their own Hero vs Villain scenario.

All in all it was another inspirational CYA conference. Thanks to Tina, Ally and crew for all your hard work in bringing together Australian children’s writers and illustrators and other industry professionals in such a fun and inspiring way.

And it was so great that young writers could share the experience this year.

Happy writing:-)



Tuesday Writing Tips is back here today! I’m so excited because my writerly friend, Claire Saxby is visiting  RIGHT NOW to talk about her gorgeous new book baby.

Today is the day that Claire Saxby’s There Was an Old Sailor, and my Tuesday Writing Tips blog tours cross over. This is a first for me and my blog, so I hope you enjoy the journey with us.

I’m reviewing Claire Saxby’s beautiful new book, There Was an Old Sailor, and I’ll be talking about reviewing vs editing skills. Claire has a reviewing tip of her own which I’m sure you’ll find useful.

But first, she agreed to answer a few questions for us.

1.    What is your favourite sea creature in the book?

I like the way the squid swirls through the pages, but I think my favourite in the book is the ray, with his green and spots. He looks as if he’s planning to keep himself as broad as possible to try to avoid being swallowed. He doesn’t look panicked, just resolute.

2.    What is the worse thing you ever swallowed?

Ooh, you’ve brought back memories of my early childhood. I did like to chew things. I swallowed several plastic eyes from toy cats and other toys. All with no ill effects!

3.    I believe this story is a real favourite in classrooms. Can you tell us why?

I think it’s because of the absurdity of it, the idea of a sailor being able to swallow all these sea creatures. Children also enjoy the rhythm and soon join in. It also doesn’t hurt that I take in a three-dimensional sailor with a wide open mouth, and a set of the sea creatures for him to ‘swallow’.

4.    Do you have any tips for new authors interested in doing classroom visits?

Moo. Perhaps in private. I was once told to ‘moo’ before any classroom visit. It does two things. It helps to warm up your voice and the very act of mooing tends to help break through nervousness.

And this might sound obvious, but read your book to them. Even if they’ve asked you to talk about your process or story writing, they still want to hear an author read their story.


Okay, I’ll admit right from the start that Claire is a writerly friend of mine, but that has nothing to do with how much I love her new picture book, There Was an Old Sailor.

It’s based on the well-loved There Was an Old Woman who swallowed a fly, but this aquatic version puts a whole new slant on things, and has a happy ending.

The rhythm of the text moves the reader along at a cracking pace, but it’s the action and descriptions and the amazing drawings by Cassandra Allen that make this picture book such a wonderful addition to any library.

Okay, so what the sailor does is actually a bit icky (although kids love icky) but his kind eyes and jolly demeanour brought to life by Cassandra Allen make him totally endearing.

This book is full of humour, and text and illustrations that will enthral young readers. It also introduces them to the amazing creatures that inhabit the sea. The Old Sailor is a great character and the resolution is satisfying for the reader. It’s a great book for the classroom – especially for those grades studying sea creatures.

My favourite bit:

There was an old sailor who swallowed a shark.

It must have been dark when he swallowed the shark.


In my experience, editing skills and reviewing skills are not that different. That’s why it can be so useful for a writer to review other people’s books. It teaches you what to look for…what are the things you like/dislike in what you read?  What draws you as a reader to a story.

The similarities I see between reviewing and editing are that both require you to look at:

  • Does the opening grab the reader’s attention?
  • Does the story maintain reader attention?
  • Are the characters well drawn?
  • Is the dialogue realistic?
  • Does the story appeal overall?
  • Is the voice unique and appealing?

These are all questions worth asking yourself when you are editing your own work.


You don’t have to love a book to review it favourably. Imagine the target audience for the book. Will it satisfy them? Let that guide the review.

It has been so much fun having Claire visit us today.

You can also catch up with Claire at some other great blogs on her tour:

Monday 8 February: Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children <http://www.sallymurphy.blogspot.com/>

Tues 9 February: Dee White’s Tuesday Writing Tips <https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/>

Wed 10 February: Dale Harcombe’s Read and Write with Dale http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale/>

Thurs 11 February: Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s books <http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com/>

Fri 12 February: Lorraine Marwood’s Words into Writing http://lorrainemarwoodwordsintowriting.blogspot.com/>

Sat 13 February: Mabel Kaplan’s Tales I Tell <http://belka37.blogspot.com/>

Sun 14 February: Sandy Fussell’s Stories are Light http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com/>

Our Tuesday Writing Tips tour continues next week at Sandy Fussell’s blog where we’ll be talking about what writers need to read. Hope you can join us then. Here’s the itinerary for the Tuesday Writing Tips tour:

2ND February 2010 Claire Saxby’s bloghttp://letshavewords.blogspot.com Writing Picture Books – Leaving room for the illustrator.
9th February 2010 Dee White’s bloghttps://deescribewriting.wordpress.com

(That’s here:-)

Reviewing ‘There Was an Old Sailor’Reviewing vs Editing skills.
16th February 2010 Sandy Fussell’s blogwww.sandyfussell.blogspot.com Writers Need to be avid free range readers
23rd February 2010 Robyn Opie’s blogwww.robynopie.blogspot.com How to make your story longer – adding layers.
2ND March 2010 Angela Sunde’s blogwww.angelasunde.blogspot.com More about Point of View – head hopping.

Thanks for dropping in Claire. It has been great to talk with you about your beautiful new picture book,
There Was an Old Sailor.

The Tuesday Writing Tips blog tour continues next week. If you have a writing question, feel free to leave it in the comments section of this post.

Happy writing.

P.S. Don’t miss tomorrow’s post at https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com It’s all about How “NOT TO” Scare Away Publishers and Agents”.


I had such a wonderful time visiting Claire Saxby at http://letshavewords.blogspot.com today. Claire had some great advice for picture books writers.

Here’s her final tip:

Keep description to a bare, bare minimum. Include only descriptive details that absolutely have to be there. eg if the plot happens in a backyard, let the illustrator imagine it.

Next week, Claire is coming here to https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com to talk more about picture writing and her new picture book, There Was an Old Sailor, which was released by Walker Books on 1st February.

Hope you can join us then.

In the meantime, happy writing!


TUESDAY WRITING TIP – PICTURE BOOKS – Leaving Room for the Illustrator

One of my writerly friends, Claire Saxby creates the most beautiful picture books. (Ebi’s Boat, A Nest for Kora, and Sheep, Goat and the Creaking Gate.)

Oh and of course there’s her wonderful new book, There Was an Old Sailor – just released yesterday!  (More on that at deescribewriting next week)

Claire manages to say so much in so few words. Today as part of the Tuesday Writing Tips blog tour, we’re off to visit her blog http://letshavewords.blogspot.com

Today Claire will talk to us about how to write picture books that leave room for the illustrator – so that pictures and words work together in perfect harmony.

So, come with me! Let’s talk picture books with Claire at http://letshavewords.blogspot.com and find out how she creates her beautiful books – and she has some great tips for picture book writers.

See you at Claire’s place.


P.S. Claire is going to give us a great writing tip that will be posted here later.


Tuesday Writing Tips is going on a blog tour tomorrow. It’s a cross blog tour… nothing to do with anger management or people getting narky with each other. In fact, it’s a very happy occasion where two blog tours are going to interconnect.

Children’s author, Claire Saxby has a wonderful new Picture Book out today called There Was an Old Sailor. So, to celebrate its release, I’m going to visit her as part of my Tuesday Writing Tips Tour and she’s going to talk about writing picture books and Leaving Room for the Illustrator. Claire will have some great tips for Tuesday Writing Tips followers.

In the forthcoming weeks, I’ll be visiting other great blogs and collecting more writing tips along the way.


This is what’s happening on the Tuesday Writing Tips Tour:

2ND February 2010 Claire Saxby’s blog


Writing Picture Books – Leaving room for the illustrator.
9th February 2010 Dee White’s blog


(That’s here!)

Reviewing ‘There Was an Old Sailor’ Reviewing vs Editing skills.
16th February 2010 Sandy Fussell’s blog


Writers Need to be avid free range readers
23rd February 2010 Robyn Opie’s blog


How to make your story longer – adding layers.
2ND March 2010 Angela Sunde’s blog


More about Point of View – head hopping.

Hope you can join me on tour  every Tuesday for the next few weeks for some great Tuesday Writing Tips. Just visit https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com each Tuesday and follow the prompts and I’ll direct you to the next stop.

On Tuesday 9th February, Claire will visit my blog as part of her There Was an Old Sailor Tour. I’ll be reviewing her book and talking about editing vs reviewing skills. Claire will also have  a tip for us on reviewing – so this will also be a Tuesday Writing Tips Blog Tour visit.

Sound complicated? I thought so too, but really it’s quite simple. Here are some other great places you’ll be able to catch up with Claire on tour:

Monday 8 February: Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children <http://www.sallymurphy.blogspot.com/>

Tues 9 February: Dee White’s Tuesday Writing Tips <https://deescribewriting.wordpress.com/>

Wed 10 February: Dale Harcombe’s Read and Write with Dale <http://www.livejournal.com/users/orangedale/>

Thurs 11 February: Robyn Opie’s Writing Children’s books <http://www.robynopie.blogspot.com/>

Fri 12 February: Lorraine Marwood’s Words into Writing <http://lorrainemarwoodwordsintowriting.blogspot.com/>

Sat 13 February: Mabel Kaplan’s Tales I Tell <http://belka37.blogspot.com/>

Sun 14 February: Sandy Fussell’s Stories are Light <http://sandyfussell.blogspot.com/>


  • Twice the tips!
  • Twice the fun!

Hope you can join Claire and I on our ‘interconnecting’ blog tours.

Happy writing.



Sheep+Goat book cover

Claire Saxby is visiting my blog http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com today to talk about her wonderful new Picture Book; Sheep, Goat and the Creaking Gate….and how she comes up with names for her books and characters.

Drop in and say, ‘Hi’.