Wendy H. Jones welcomes today's member.
Today on the blog I am honoured to bring you the first of our monthly Member Showcase spots. Our first member to step beneath the spotlight and let me interro.. er interview them. Is Writer and Publisher, Adrianne Fitzpatrick. Thank you for joining me Adrianne. Now your starter for 10 and the quick fire round.
Many writers are fuelled by caffeine. Are you Coffee or Tea?
Tea all the way. I’ve never liked coffee.
What is your favourite food?
Sorry to be predictable, but it would have to be chocolate!
What is your favourite country?
Definitely the UK.
Hot or Cold climate?
The colder the better.
What’s your favourite colour?
If you could be a character in any book who would it be?
This is actually a difficult question. Do I want to experience what that character experienced? Or be like that character? My first instinct was to say Jo March, of Little Women fame; but in thinking about it further, I have decided on Paks from The Deeds of Paksenarrion series by Elizabeth Moon. Not that I want to go through what Paks did, but to come out of it with a faith and inner beauty that she did – that’s something I aspire to.
Thanks for joining in. Now we know you a little better can you tell us a bit more about your writing?
I’m something of a mixture. My passion is for children’s writing, but I also love fantasy. The two can go together, of course, but my fantasy does tend to be more for young adults or adults. I also write a lot of non-fiction about writing and about books and authors, mostly by commission. Over the years, I’ve had articles, short stories, poetry, puzzles and training materials published. I wrote a lot of songs when I was younger and they were still floating around local churches in Australia a few years ago; and I’ve written a number of Christmas plays that were produced by amateur theatre. My first full-length children’s novel was published by Girls Gone By Publishers last year.
Why that particular genre?
So I rather scuppered that question by being so diverse! Part of that is because I write what I’m asked to write, and that has been right across the board. But why fantasy? Because I love to read it. And it’s a safe place to explore issues that confront us today without having to worry about the trappings of modern society. And as for children’s writing, I still love reading children’s books and I’ve always been drawn to writing for younger readers.
I believe you also have a publishing company. Could you give us some insight into what you are looking for as a publisher?
Simply put, I’m looking for good stories for children that are well told.
What makes you decide to take a book on as a publisher?
Firstly, it has to be for children – you’d be surprised how many manuscripts I receive that are aimed at the adult market! – and it needs to be for modern children, not for the children of our own childhoods.
It needs to have characters I can engage with and a strong, well-developed story. And it needs to be well written, showing a clear understanding of grammar, punctuation, character development, plot arcs etc. As a small publisher, my funds for editing a book are limited, so the more polished a piece of writing is, the greater its chances of being accepted.
Anyone interested in submitting to Books to Treasure can see more about our requirements at http://www.bookstotreasure.co.uk/publishing/writers-guidelines
As a member of ACW you are obviously a Christian. What part does your faith play in your work as a writer and a publisher?
I believe my ability to write is a gift from God, albeit one that I need to continue developing every single day, and my faith certainly underpins and infuses everything I create – sometimes in obvious ways; other times not so much – but, in fiction at least, I write to tell stories. Pure and simple.
I think it’s interesting that I find myself wanting to specify that I don’t write for the Christian market, as if doing that is the ‘proper’ way of expressing one’s faith as a writer. I wonder how many other Christians who write stories that don’t have obviously Christian characters or mention God or church feel the same pressure I sometimes do.
As a publisher, faith plays a huge part! Start a publishing venture in the midst of a recession? You have got to be kidding! But that was the clear direction I was given. Every single day is a matter of faith. I’ve worked in the industry as writer, editor, proofreader, book designer (and educator in these areas) for more than 25 years (almost 40 years if we count my very first publication), so I have the background, but I didn’t start out with Publisher as my dream job. (For more of my thoughts on publishing in a recession, see my article in the March Together Magazine.)
Faith also plays a part in what I accept as a publisher. Although, again, I don’t target the Christian market specifically, cross-over manuscripts (those that work for both Christian and mainstream) are more than welcome.
Thank you so much for joining us Adrianne. It has been a real pleasure getting to meet you and to know more about you. You’ve been a good sport.
You can find out more about Adrianne and her work at Books to Treasure