Today we travel to Liverpool to chat with Jude Lennon about how being a former teacher, having a storytelling business, writing Christmas plays, a lamb, eating chocolate, drinking gin, a VW campervan, and beaches come together as part of Jude’s past and current life.
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m Jude Lennon a former teacher who loved writing who is now an author who loves storytelling. I live in Liverpool with my partner Dom. He’s a musician so it’s a very creative but not particularly tidy household. I was a teacher for 18 years before leaving the chalk face to set up my storytelling business. When not in Lockdown, my days are spent visiting schools to deliver storytelling sessions, meet the author talks, writing workshops and drama workshops. I also run writing courses for adults and a yearly writing retreat. I try to write every day, even if it’s just a few hundred words.
In which genre do you write?
Mostly children’s picture and chapter books but I’ve written a collection of short stories for adults and my current WIP is a full length novel for adults.
How many published books do you have?
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what ignited your author’s flame?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember and my career as a teacher (I taught 3, 4, 5 and 6 year old’s) gave me the opportunity for lots of writing. I was always making up stories for the children in my class or writing the Christmas play or assemblies. It was actually other people including work colleagues who suggested I should try to get my work published. I entered a writing competition, was crowned The Disney Winnie the Pooh Laureate for the North West of England and that was that.
What would you choose as your mascot, and why?
I’m a professional storyteller as well as writer. The storytelling business is Little Lamb Tales and I have a mascot called Lamby. He and his girlfriend Flossie accompany me everywhere and I mean everywhere. They even came with us to South America for a 6 week adventure a couple of years ago.
What does your ideal writing space look like?
Although I have an office at home, I’m very much a pen and paper girl initially so I like to have a notebook to hand and just write when the feeling takes me. Sometimes in bed, sometimes on a beach, sometimes at the dining table looking out of the window. As long as I have a notebook and pen I’m happy. When I come to type my stories up and editing it’s the laptop in my office.
Where did the idea for your most recent book come from?
That’s Our Home! is a children’s picture book about keeping the beaches clean. The idea came from my sister-in-law who was doing a beach clean and found a whole picnic wrapped in a towel and buried in the sand. I was so outraged I felt compelled to write a story.
What do you do when not writing or marketing your books?
Read, eat chocolate, drink gin, go walking, have jam nights with my friends where we sit around sing, laugh and talk (and drink gin). Preferably combine all of the above on a camping trip.
What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?
Children’s faces when I read my books to them and being told my books were like Julia Donaldson! I ate out on that for a week ha ha.
What do you miss about being a kid?
I’m still a big kid. Play and using my imagination is still important but having the time and freedom to really devote time to it like I did as a child is what I miss the most.
List 3 interesting facts about yourself.
I own a beautiful 1974 VW campervan named Buttercup who appears in one of my books.
I once drove a different VW campervan called Poppy around Australia. The stars look amazing from a campfire in the outback.
Yes I am related to you know who.
A penguin knocks on your door and is wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he there?
“Hi I believe you sell hats. As you can see this one is a little small for me! Have you got anything bigger?”
What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?
The beach. I don’t even mind which one. I just love being by the sea. I grew up in Southport which is 30 miles up the coast from Liverpool. The sea doesn’t really come in but the smell of the sea has been in my nose since I was born. If I had to choose one beach location – Hell’s Mouth on the Llyn Peninsular in Wales.
What are you currently working on?
A full length novel with the working title Tea is the Cure for Everything. Due for release in 2021 ish.
Tell us about your most recent book.
I published my latest book ‘That’s Our Home!’ on 20th March. Great timing hey?! It’s a children’s picture book (illustrated by the wonderfully talented Lisa Williams) written in rhyme which explores the issue of keeping our beaches clean. The three main characters Seagull, Crab and Starfish have a very important message to spread.
It was wonderful to have you be a part of MTA, Jude. It sure sounds like you have tons of fun! Wishing you all the best! – Camilla
Where to find the book:
It’s available from Amazon and of course all good bookshops when they re-open. https://littlelambpublishing.co.uk/product/thats-our-home/
Connect with Jude:
Facebook – www.facebook.com/JudeLennonAuthor
Twitter – www.twitter.com/JudeLennonBooks
Instagram – www.instagram.com/JudeLennonBooks
Ko-fi – www.ko-fi.com/JudeLennon
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