Welcome to Debut Diaries—One Year On, where SCBWI-BI members share their highs (hopefully lots of these) and lows (hopefully fewer of these) of the post-publication year. This month, Tizzie welcomes Catherine Pickles, author of Worzel Says Hello! and Worzel Goes for a Walk, to join her for afternoon tea.

After a whirlwind post-debut year, it’s a chance for Cath to put her feet up and share her insights over a cuppa and some carefully chosen sweet treats, which reflect the mood of the months following life after debut. Has the reality lived up to the dreams? What do you wish you’d known before the first thrills of your book birthday became a distant memory? And are launch parties and school visits really that terrifying?

Book launch at Southwold Library
September 2017       Raspberry Pavlova 

Our lovely local library hosts the launch of Worzel says Hello! Will you be my friend? Charlotte Clark, our librarian, has a special place in the Worzel journey. When I first started writing, I showed Charlotte my early attempts and she encouraged me to carry on. So I always try to involve Southwold Library whenever I can.

Cath Pickles and illustrator Chantal Bourgonje with Worzel
November 2017      Chocolate Gateaux 

Chantal Bourgonje, Worzel’s fabulous illustrator, takes Worzel Says Hello! to the SCWBI conference in Winchester. Family and financial restraints mean I’m unable to go, but I’m very glad Chantal is there to celebrate with our book. Creating the images for Worzel’s children’s books is far more than simply drawing fantastic images. All the dogs have to show accurate dog body language, and I’m so lucky that Chantal is a fellow dog-lover and completely understands what we need to achieve.

February 2018         Coconut Pyramids (I hate coconut!) 

I’ve landed a job writing for Dogs Today and Dogs Monthly magazines, so I am now just about making a living as a writer! That’s the good news... The not-so-good-news is that as well as writing for both publications, I’m attempting to finish the words for the second Worzel children’s book, Worzel Goes for a Walk, and also writing on Worzel’s fourth book for adults. To say I’m drowning is an understatement. It’s completely exhausting trying to write in three different styles, up against deadlines, and ensure any semblance of quality, or even sense, is making it to the paper. I’m not sure if I’m living the dream or stuck in a nightmare...

May 2018           Rich Tea Biscuits (something calming and bland to settle my stomach!) 

Worzel Goes for a Walk is at the printers. There’s talk of a third Worzel children’s book, and if I’ve learned anything from this year, it’s to remember that even though I’ve finished my words, there will still be an enormous amount of work that I’ll need to be involved in throughout the publication process.

Catherine Pickles started her career as a teacher but eventually returned to her writing roots in her mid-forties, when a family illness meant she had to stop paid employment to become a full-time carer. Following the old adage of writing what you know about, she turned to her constant companion during those dark times and started to write about her dog, starting a blog exploring his adventures. A publishing contract swiftly followed and the Worzel Wooface series is now on its fourth volume. 

In 2017, she teamed up with Chantal Bourgonje to create Worzel Says Hello! Will You Be My Friend? and the Worzel children’s series came to life: books about children and dogs that are not only beautiful and rewarding but that show children how to have a positive and safe relationship with dogs. The second in the series, Worzel Goes for a Walk: Will You Come Too? will be published in August 2018.

Cath Pickles on Twitter: @CathPickles
Worzel has his own Twitter account! @Worzel_Wooface 

Author Tizzie Frankish
By day, Tizzie Frankish is a mum to two boisterous boys and a part-time university tutor. By night, an agented writer who is plagued by her characters. She writes better in her dreams than she does in the cold light of day (thank goodness for edits!) and she’s currently working on a number of young fiction stories. Her works are often humorous and more often than not include animals—even if she starts out thinking they won’t.

Website: Tizzie Frankish
Twitter: @tizzief

Picture credits
Header picture: Coral Walker

1 comment:

  1. Looks lovely and nice for children. I am a writer myself and when students need someone to write my essay I help them. Surfing through internet in search of good resources. So thanks for sharing!


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