Lowri has been writing stories for the last five years and mainly writes picture books and young adult fiction novels. She will soon have completed her BA in Childhood and youth studies with a focus on Children's literature. For many years she didn't share her stories but thankfully this last year or so she has started to turn writing into a profession.
Lowri recently had a story called Little crocodile's silver suit published in Storytime magazine and is currently in the process of getting more work published. She often writes picture books that discuss less talked about issues such as body image and being different in fun and quirky ways. The young adult novels she writes are usually fantasy, dystopian told in a modern, relatable way.
Lowri kindly agreed to do this interview with us so that we could find out more about her and her wonderful stories.
What do you love most about writing stories for children?
What I love about writing for children is that anything is possible. The most outlandish and incredible things can happen to the unlikeliest characters, it’s just so much fun.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere and everywhere, usually from something funny the children around me say or something I hear on the television or radio. Sometimes an idea for a character or a phrase comes to me and niggles at me until I come up with a story. Other times, I might be having trouble discussing an issue with my daughter but cannot find a book to help her understand, so I write one myself instead.
How did you get your first story published and what was it about?
I had written my story about a little crocodile who had lost his silver suit a few years earlier but had been too shy to let anyone read it. Eventually I took a chance and sent it out to a few publishers and magazines who were open to submissions. Quite a few said no, don’t get me wrong but I was really fortunate to be contacted by Storytime Magazine who said they wanted to include it in their March 2017 edition. It was beautifully illustrated by Lee Cosgrove and I couldn’t have been more pleased. The story discusses friendship, kindness and Roller-Discos!
What topics do your stories cover and why are these important to you?
I write about anything that takes my interest really, things I would have been interested in as a child. I struggle to just write for one age group, instead I tend to come up with an idea and then decide what age group would most enjoy that story. More recently, I have actively been trying to write about themes that aren’t usually discussed in children’s books such as anxiety and cancer because I think it’s important that every child, especially those who are having a difficult time are able to find a book that they can relate to.
Have you always loved stories and reading?
I don’t really remember reading a lot as a child, the television was just so much more instant. It wasn’t until I got into my teens really that I started to realise some of the films I loved most were based on books that were actually better than the movies. The books gave more depth and context to the stories and characters. However, my love of picture books began when my daughter was born and I couldn’t get enough of them, we spent a lot of hours in our local library.
Why do you think it is important for children to develop a love of reading?
I think it is important for children to read because it is such a joy. There are so many worlds and experiences waiting to be explored inside every book. A good book can make you laugh or cry and help young people better understand the world around them. We are so lucky to live in such a multi-media age, where children can access reading and stories through so many mediums such as ebooks, reading apps and there are so many amazing comics and magazines available now. Reading is something my daughter and I enjoy doing together and no matter how busy we are in the day, I know we have that special time before bed to enjoy a book together.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I hope to get some more stories published. I am in the last year of my degree in Childhood and Youth Studies so, when that is finished I plan on writing full time.
Who is your favourite children’s author and why?
That is such a hard question because it changes all the time but I enjoy Julia Donaldson’s stories, they are so loved by every child. I also like Anthony Brown’s stories because there are so many hidden gems within the illustrations, there is something new to spot every time you read one of his books.
What is your favourite children’s book?
My favourite picture book is The Jolly Postman by Allen and Janet Alhberg because it is such amazing value, there are so many stories. You get a sneak peek into all your favourite fairytale characters’ lives.
If you could spend a day with one of the PrenderPals who would it be and why?
It would have to be Rosie the Raccoon because she seems really fun. Also, my daughter is called Rosie so I am a little biased.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Lowri for doing this interview and we are very excited to see what she does next! We hope you have enjoyed reading her answers and be sure to keep your eye out for her future stories.