Petra Baillie interview
A little introduction:
I am a 27 year old woman from the idyllic west coast of Scotland. Like most new writers, I have a day job and often describe myself as a ‘weary teacher by day and a witty writer by night’. Being a busy teacher and writer means I must be strict with my goals. A very powerful quote from author Anne Tyler states:
“If I waited until I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.”
Although we may not want this to be true, it is. As writers, we want our writing to be an art where we pick up the paintbrush whenever inspiration strikes. The reality is, that if we don’t just write then nothing would get written at all. I can stare at my screen for an eternity waiting for that perfect “A-HA” moment, but despite how I feel, I know that if I just type and write, it will flow. So for the past couple of years, that is exactly what I have been doing. Letting it flow…
The very first piece I wrote as an author was my middle grade novel, The Strange and Wonderful Adventures of Pippa. While I was redrafting, I dipped my toes into picture book writing. I wrote 2 traditional picture books and created 4 unique “Illustrate Your Own Book” where children can bring the text to life with their own illustrations! I have since turned my hand to YA and pieces of Flash Fiction here and there. As long as I am working toward a writing goal, I’m happy.
I love to write funny picture books that I can read with a class. I enjoy creating a whole world of adventure that I can dive into. I also fancy some flash fiction every now and then. I reject the notion that to be really good at what you do then you need to just do YA or Middle Grade or Picture Books. I write what I feel and what brings me joy. I am not a “full time writer” like others in the profession, but I can’t imagine a time where I will ever stop writing.
How have you found the process for becoming an author?
What would you say to those wanting to become an author?
Pippa is a perfectly normal eleven year old girl who finds herself in the unordinary land of Mirilia. Pippa stumbles upon an adventure in a land that is both like and very unlike Scotland, where she finds a host of magical creatures, including dragons that apparently once lived in our fair land. Throughout her quest she encounters ancient Celts, dances in a ceilidh in an abandoned castle and rescues dragons who only understand Gaelic. She must find a way back to Scotland before the evil Queen of Mirilia closes the magical doors between the worlds, trapping Pippa forever…
It is an exciting, spell binding tale of confidence and resilience. Pippa must accept her fate and destiny and bring peace to both Scotland and Mirilia.
Since publishing my novel, I have entered the world of Picture Books and to this day, I'm not sure which is more difficult to write! I have written two traditional picture books, Ben Merlin and Zip: The mystery of the lost wool, and The Leprechaun who Lost his Rainbow (which is my favourite!). I also have created four very unique Illustrate Your Own Books where children can express their creativity and illustrate my words! In this collection I have: Danny the Dinosaur, Feelings That Are Funny, Poppy the Pirate Thief and The Night I became Santa. I complete illustration workshops fairly regularly in my local bookshops with my books!
What do you love about the writing/reading community?