Top tips from Julia Copus for children who are authors in the making…
What’s your top tip for budding young authors?
Don’t get too hung up on writing perfect sentences first time round. You can always go back and polish them later. The trick is to let your imagination be as free as you can. Once you get into the right state of mind, you’ll need to write fast to catch all the wonderful things that tumble out of it!
What was your absolute favourite book as a child?
Am I allowed two? I was obsessed with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, and for a long time I walked about checking the gutters in the hope of finding my own golden ticket. The other was Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh. It’s about a girl who goes to a market and buys herself a cat and a broomstick at the start of a long, boring school holiday. There’s far more to the cat and the broomstick than meets the eye and she ends up having the most exciting and magical summer she’s ever had. There were other favourites too, but I’ve already cheated by having more than one!
If you could live as a character from one of your books, who would you be and why?
That’s easy! Candy Stripe Lil. She’s quick, clever, and manages to get herself out of all sorts of scrapes. She also happens to be as good at baking tasty treats as she is at solving mysteries!
What book inspired you to start writing?
My inspiration to write children’s books probably came from the brilliant, rhyming Dr. Seuss books I read as a child – books like the classic Cat in the Hat, with its zippy language and amazing illustrations of strange looking beasts!
Did you spend most of your time in detention or getting gold stars at school?
I once got a gold star in my infant’s school for daydreaming! I’m not ashamed of that at all. Daydreaming is just another way of using your imagination – and the more we do that, the better!
If you had a super power what would it be and why?
I think I’d like the power to change into an animal so that I could see things from a different perspective – like Minerva McGonagall and Rita Skeeter in the Harry Potter books. I have a super-furry, curly-coated Spanish Water Dog called Ruffle, and I often think about how she sees the world around her. For one thing she’s much lower to the ground than I am, and her sense of smell is more than a thousand times more sensitive than mine – which could be a good or a bad thing, depending on what you’re smelling! Transforming into a bird might be fun too. It would also be a brilliant form of disguise for escaping people you didn’t want to be seen by!
View some of Julia's children's books below:
The Shrew that Flew
Badger's having a birthday party and Harry and Lil are getting ready, but just as Lil is getting her favourite hat off the washing line to wear, it blows away. Harry says it's gone for good, but Lil says you should never say never "if birds can fly, shrews can, too".View Book