The Perse School

Prep Library Club interviews author Clementine Beauvais

14 Mar 2014

3Members of the Prep’s Library club were delighted to be able to interview Cambridge-based author, Clementine Beauvais, after her author talk when she paid the Prep a visit last week in celebration of World Book Day.

They probed her on what inspires her to write her children’s stories, what she finds difficult when writing her books and asked her if she had any words of advice for those who would like to become an author in the future.

Here is a transcription of the fantastic interview Daisy, Ishbel, Neil, Jay, Toby, Benya and Yonas conducted for you to enjoy.

What made you decide to become a writer?
“I was always reading and writing stories as a child. My Mother used to give me good books to read. I loved the Harry Potter series and I also loved Tintin.”

What else did you like doing when you were a child?4
“I loved my scooter and I loved video games. I actually think they were a good influence as they made me think very visually about my stories.”

What inspired you to write the Sesame books?
“I love Cambridge and I wanted to write a book about the city. I was also inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking. It gave me the idea of writing about a slightly cheeky girl.”

The main character in your books is Sesame. Are you like her in any way?
“Kind of, I think I had a similar attitude. I was sometimes very obnoxious to my parents like Sesame! I can’t roller skate though. I have a really bad sense of balance!”

Sesame has a pet cat Peter Mortimer, did you have any pets as a child?
Yes, I had a cat called Opaline who I absolutely loved. She was so sweet and would never scratch anyone. Peter Mortimer is not like her. He is horrible. I was inspired by the devilish pet cat, Lucifer in Cinderella. When I get a house of my own I would love to have a pet rat.

What is the hardest part of writing?
“I always find it really difficult to write the middle part of a story. I sometimes feel like I want to give up and start again with new characters.”

How long does it take you to write a book?
“It takes me about two or three months. I am not writing all the time. I also have a job. I usually write for about 2 or three hours a day, but then there are times when I don’t have time to write at all like when I am visiting schools.”

What are some of the things you do when you aren’t writing?
“I love walking, especially around Cambridge because it is a wonderful city. I also love drawing because it is a really fun thing to do.”

Do you have any advice for children wanting to become authors?
“Yes, finish what you start! When I was about 9, I finished my first story and it felt absolutely brilliant. It gives you so much confidence and makes you believe you can do anything. Of course then you need to go back over it again and edit it.”

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