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Interview with Fiona Barker

I’ve had a few favourite pens over the years. When I was in my teens I used to write with a fountain pen with brown Quink Ink. I thought that was very poetic and literary at the time! My favourite pens of the moment are a silver Yard-o-Led pen which was a present from my husband and a rather lovely sparkly Swarovski number, another present from a dear friend. They both feel like they might impart a bit of magic to my writing. And of course, I always have a Sharpie and a pack of coloured fineline felt-tips for signing books.

Fiona with stationery

My notebook choice tends to be driven by necessity. It has to be small enough to fit into any bag so that I can take it anywhere and everywhere just in case inspiration should strike. My absolute best notebook is a small but perfectly formed Smythson one, another present (I have some very lovely friends!) I try not to use that one all the time though because I can’t afford to buy another one and I don’t want it to run out!

I tend not to use much other stationery, although I am partial to a hole punch and I do like crayons.

I believe that picture books are for life, not just for childhood. I have a large collection of picture books, old and new, which I can often be seen carting around Berkshire giving talks to groups such as the Women’s Institute. I also run Picture Book Club, a club for grown-ups who love picture books and want to learn more about children’s publishing.

I self-published my first picture book, Amelie and the Great Outdoors, in 2016. That gave me the opportunity to get into schools and bookshops to get valuable event experience. I hope I’ll be able to put this into practice when my first traditionally published book, Danny and the Dream Dog, comes out in November 2018 with Tiny Tree.

Danny Dog cover full

I’ve been very lucky to work with fabulous illustrator and fellow SCBWI member Howard Gray on Danny and we’re both very excited to see it in book form. I’m working on new texts all the time with the support of my brilliant SCBWI critique group and my awesome agent Alice Williams.

You can see what I’m up to on my website www.fionabarker.co.uk or my facebook page @FionaWritesBooks but I am most often to be found tweeting @Fi_BGB.

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