I met children’s author, TERRY TARBOX, and his ‘marketing-agent’ and wife, Lily. Lily paid for the drinks and cakes, and they were lovely. Thank you, Lily.
Welcome, Terry, can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and how, and why, you become a children’s author?
I have always shared my stories and rhymes with my nieces and nephews and the children of friends and family so when I retired it just seemed to follow that I would put them down on paper so more children could enjoy them.
I blame Spike Milligan, the Goon Show and Monty Python for the level of humour in these tall tales and rhymes. I go into schools to read to the children and they love it. They write me letters, telling me how much they enjoy my visits and my stories.
What was the first story you wrote?
The first story I wrote was Willigrews and Skraks. This story introduces all the Willigrews characters and is in The Willigrews book.
What other books have you written?
My Mate Joe and Other Rhymes, a book of nursery rhymes and poems for 5-11 years.
I am a member of the Lowestoft Writing Group and I co-authored Colours of the Coast. We have penned another book and it should be available very soon.
Were you inspired by someone or something?
My teacher, Mr. Starling, at school noticed I was keen on English. I wrote a short story called, ‘The Rescue’, a ghost story and he was really impressed with it. He asked me to read it out to the class, which I did, and I‘ve been hooked ever since.
What do you like about writing a story?
It’s fun, I enjoy writing about weird things.
What genre best fits for the book?
Comedy adventures for children 5-11 years.
Are you working on something new at the moment?
Another story book. It has 6 stories in it and am also writing another rhyme book.
Children who have a sense of humour will find them really funny, they are full of silliness and kids love them.
All my books have illustrations in them. My niece is an illustrator and she does my illustrations for me. She’s brilliant. I tell her all about the characters and somehow she comes up with the illustrations. Wendy Wheatley. www.wwdesign.co.uk
How did you come up with the story?
Many of my ideas come from the children.
Think of a situation, for example, a dragon, characteristics in his head, a threat and it carries on from there.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
I encourage children to write. My mission is to get children to write. If I create one writer, I will be happy.
What is your writing routine?
I don’t have a routine. I write when I want too.
Do you have an editing process?
I edit and then my wife, Lily, reads it through for me. Lily is very good.
What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?
The thing I enjoy most about writing is having a story to read to children.
I enjoy everything about writing, especially now as I self-publish and I can write a book and get it onto Amazon within a short space of time.
How important is it for you to share your writing?
It’s crucial, that’s why I write.
Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
Be prepared for lots of silliness and enjoy them. Anything can happen.
Where you can find Terry:
On the Blyth Valley Community Radio every third Wednesday of the month at 12 noon. www.blythvalleycommunityradio.co.uk
Where you can buy Terry’s books:
Some WH Smiths shops
Some holiday parks
Thank you, Terry, I have really enjoyed this interview and thank you again, Lily, for the tea and cake.