Susan Hili - Interview (July 2018)
Why do you want to be a published author/illustrator?
To be honest, I think achieving and digesting small junctures along the way has made the journey (hopefully) towards publication a remarkable experience. Writing for children has profoundly changed my demeanour. For instance, creating stories by my childhood recollections have given me the ability to observe life through children’s eyes. I had a rich and adventurous childhood, having fun exploring my imagination of sketching and drawing. Apparently, a bit of a wild child, riding my pony bareback over hills and discovering creeks near my hometown, which unfortunately no longer exist.
My goal is to replicate some of these childhood encounters into writing stories for children to enjoy. Discovering a book, I’ve written and illustrated, sitting on library shelves and in bookshops would be a dream come true.
How long have you been writing?
I remember reading Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, countless times when I was around eight or nine. I loved the mystery and fantasy. So, I decided to write a version of my own. I suppose that's my first memory of feeling passion for words. Life took me on a different ride, but the desire stayed with me. It's only the last few years that I've had the opportunity to take up the reins and gallop full blast into the world of children's books. Inspired by my two granddaughters.
I took up KBR challenge, “write a story a month”. I was thrilled to have my first story, The Creepy Schoolhouse, chosen and published online. I felt I had received an encouraging pat on the back. Since then I have completed an online writing course (Writing for Children and Young Adults). Because of my late start, I suppose I perceive myself as a writer/illustrator in her second childhood.
How will/did you celebrate your first publication?
At the release of The Creative Kids Tales Story Collection, I spent the weekend away with my husband. Then afterwards a relaxing meal with my family, which included a delightful glass of sauvignon blanc or was it two? I know one sure thing—floating on cloud nine is extremely exhilarating. Perhaps next time a month away would be one to consider.
How would you describe your writing style?
I haven’t thought much about my style. I think perhaps descriptive. I’m always up for a good challenge in my writing, finding substitute words and phrases that makes an interesting read for those precious young minds. I love stories with mystery, and I think that has influenced my style mostly.
How has Creative Kids Tales assisted you on your journey to publication?
When I first became a CKT member, I also joined the critique group, giving me a gage to how my writing improves. Receiving feedback from group members is priceless, and because it’s online, I can review their work in my own time. No other website compares. I’ve had a couple of my manuscript assessed by CKT Manuscript Assessments, and received valuable, intelligent feedback that made sense. A highlight that stands out to me is the recent CKT festival, which captivated me with so many inspiring speakers! CKT has everything at my fingertips and Georgie has provided a website, with all the information and support I need for publication. The possibilities are open, and I intend to pursue them!
The Creative Kids Tales Story Collection.
The music Thief along with four illustrations.
Online publication: www.kids-bookreview.com/2015/01/kbr-short-story-creepy-school-house
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SusanHili/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel