About Rachael Phillips:
I am a children’s writer living in Kent, UK, with my wonderful husband and two beautiful children. I have always had a passion for writing and find it is the best medicine for my overactive imagination. I have written over 40 eBooks and more recently have published the Things with… series which is also available in print. Being a full time mum is my priority closely followed by writing and working on my books. When I am not being mum or writing I can be found treading the boards at a local drama group.
What inspires you to write?
I have always loved to write and began to write a lot more after becoming a mother. I found through writing I could express myself better than I could verbally. I wanted to write things for my children to enjoy and to capture the wonder of the world around us.
Tell us about your writing process.
When I have an idea for a book or a poem I tend to sit down and get it all down on paper. For short stories I tend to make notes on things I want in the stories and then I begin my research. Once I start writing, the words tend to flow from me and I feel an overwhelming sense of urgency to get those words out. I only involve my illustrator once I have a finished story or poem. I have never tended to outline my books. When I am writing poetry I seem to have a set rhythm.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I almost become the character I am writing about. I wrote a series about Larry the Liger: his father was a lion, his mother was a tiger. I would genuinely pull liger faces to help me understand the characteristics of Larry, and would move around the room like him. I did this for all of my characters which would prove challenging when writing about an owl who could turn her head all the way around – I have my limitations! I have a strange ability to think like a child as I have strong memories of how I felt when I was younger. Once I am very familiar with a character I ask the character questions and feel guided by them rather than by my own imagination which I know sounds very odd!
What advice would you give other writers?
Do not fear what may happen. If you truly love your craft then you must pursue it. I once wrote a blog post about laying yourself bare because, in essence, that is what a writer does. All the ideas, writing, love and effort you put into your books can so easily be criticized by others but those ideas, writing, love and effort can also bring a lot of joy to a reader. Write and read often.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I did try the traditional publishing routes but received rejections and almost gave up. A few years ago I began a job as a co-author and it was then the idea of self publishing was suggested. I have never looked back. My most recent books are available in print which is wonderful as they are illustrated rhymes.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I honestly believe there will always be demand for print books however the eBook market will continue to grow. Most children will own a tablet in the next five years or so and they will be buying more eBooks than print books. The reason I believe this is the cost: eBooks are much cheaper than print books which is great news for those with smaller pocket money budgets. Schools are now introducing tablets to the classroom so more book genres will notice an increase in eBook sales. It is a great time to be self publishing and traditional publishers, as we know them, may well become a thing of the past.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Children’s books
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print