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Top Tips From Marcia Williams

February 24, 2016

Top tips from Marcia Williams for children who are authors in the making…

We caught up with children's author, Marcia Williams to get some top tips and little school secrets to help inspire young writers around the world.

What’s your top tip for budding young authors?
My top tip for budding young authors is to read loads, everything from cereal packets and poetry, to books, both long and short. Try and read aloud to other people, because it is not only amazingly wonderful for the people you are reading to, but it gives you a really good idea about how readers and listeners react to words and stories. You can sneak in a few stories of your own and see if they are holding your audience, or if you need to tweak bits here and there.
 
What was your absolute favourite book as a child?
My favourite book was Hans Anderson’s Fairy Tales. I had a copy with black and white illustrations and they really scared me.  I would read the stories before bed, or someone would read them to me and then I would lie in bed imagining I saw the shadows of the characters creep across the walls.  It may not sound frightening, but I would get seriously spooked!
 
If you could live as a character from one of your books, who would you be and why?
I would LOVE to live as Flossie Albright in my book, Flossie’s Secret War Diary. Flossie was such a feisty character and I always wonder what happened to her after the book finished at the end of WW11. Did Flossie become a nurse as she wanted to? Or did her path lead somewhere else? It would be exciting to find out!

What book inspired you to start writing? 
I don’t think there was one particular book that inspired me, unless it was Robert Graves, Greek Myths. It is a lovely book, but it is for adults and I loved the Greek Myths and wanted to retell them in a fun way for children like me, who like loads of pictures and conversations in their books. This started me on the path of retelling classic tales in comic strip form, which I now have a passion for doing.

Did you spend most of your time in detention or getting gold stars at school? 
I spent most of my time in detention, I’m ashamed to say.  I went to a boarding school and was very unhappy.  When I visit schools now, I wish that I could start all over again.  Schools and teachers today seem much more fun and I think,  if I could start with a clean slate, I might just spend most of my time getting gold stars. Well, maybe!

If you had a super power what would it be and why? 
If I had a super power it would be to talk to famous authors who are no longer here. Imagine being able to chat to Jane Austen, Dickens or Shakespeare, how cool would that be! Or I could converse over breakfast to Roald Dahl, AA Milne or Maurice Sendak. I could ask them all about their lives and the stories they wrote. They might help me to create better books and if I was really, really lucky they might even give me some story ideas!

View some of Marcia's children's books below:

  • Les Miserables by Marcia Williams
    Les Miserables

    A beautifully illustrated retelling of Victor Hugo's masterpiece.

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  • Tales from Shakespeare by Marcia Williams
    Tales from Shakespeare

    Marcia Williams retells fourteen of Shakespeare's best-loved plays in her trademark witty, accessible style.

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  • Lizzy Bennet's Diary by Marcia Williams
    Lizzy Bennet's Diary

    Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice, this is a retelling of Jane Austen's most famous novel from the point of view of Lizzy Bennet, its feisty heroine. It is packed with Lizzy's drawings, pressed flowers, ribbons from her bonnet, hand-written notes, dance cards, invitations, and even a letter from Mr Darcy.

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  • A Christmas Carol by Marcia Williams
    A Christmas Carol

    One of the world's greatest writers is introduced to a new audience through this accessible retelling with lively illustrations.

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  • Oliver Twist by Marcia Williams
    Oliver Twist

    One of the world's greatest writers is introduced to a new audience through this accessible retelling with lively illustrations.

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  • Great Expectations by Marcia Williams
    Great Expectations

    One of the world's greatest writers is introduced to a new audience through this accessible retelling with lively illustrations.

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  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by Marcia Williams
    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Marcia Williams retells one of Shakespeare's best-loved plays in her trademark witty, accessible style perfect for younger children.

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  • My Secret War Diary, by Flossie Albright by Marcia Williams
    My Secret War Diary, by Flossie Albright

    A fascinating diary account of the Second World War, as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

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  • My Secret War Diary, by Flossie Albright by Marcia Williams
    My Secret War Diary, by Flossie Albright

    A fascinating diary account of the Second World War, as seen through the eyes of a young girl.

    View Book
  • Greek Myths by Marcia Williams
    Greek Myths

    Eight favourite Greek myths - illustrated in colourful, cartoon-strip style!

    View Book

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