Usually Sarah-Leigh Wills spends her time behind the scenes creating characters and getting into the 'world of a book' written by somebody else. We are excited to announce that she has her own range of picture books that are coming to Magic Mouse Books... and she is both the Author and Illustrator this time!
"I am absolutely rubbish writing these things about myself. I find I end up waffling about my job and my cat! So, I will do my best to keep things brief!"
As you can probably tell…. I’m VERY bubbly, full of life and can NEVER sit still (or be quiet!) I’m a country girl and love nothing better than spending time outside walking, embracing nature and just enjoying life! I have a big love of music, and have a severe love of MARMITE… Especially straight out the jar!! mmm!!
That aside for a second, I adore my day job as a children’s book Illustrator & Designer! It’s a big part of who I am. I have spent the last fifteen years working on books for other Authors and four years ago I put pen to paper and wrote my very own first story! My writing style is a little quirky (at least I think so). I like to write stories that have a purpose, a subtle life lesson that hopefully children can take with them in life.
And lastly… what every author needs… is a trustee fluffy sidekick. Mine is Erik, my faithful catbestie.
If you could meet your characters, what would you say to them?
SLW: Ha! I would imagine they would be as bonkers as me! I would say to them to enjoy the stories as much as they could, be wild, and embrace the fun!
What is your writing process like?
SLW: This is a really funny question for me. As my writing process is very spontaneous, at least that’s the word I would use to describe it! I literally will go to sleep, dream the entire storyboard and… bang! The very next day I write the story and draw up the characters! Obviously, I edit and spend months refining them, but that’s pretty much how it all happens for me.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
SLW: Something sweet = dried fruits. Something wet = tea! Something cuddly = Erik (my catbestie).
Where do you draw inspiration from?
SLW: I find the simplest of things can trigger a story concept for me, it could be anything from a can of beans to a blade of grass! I think that sometimes I just take myself away from what’s happening in the world today, and drift into my own little creative bliss. There I tend to meet the characters and know the direction they are supposed to go in.
What is your favourite book series?
SLW: Harry Potter! I absolutely LOVE these! I’m hooked on the Stephen Fry Audio versions! BONUS… I can draw at the same time haha!
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
SLW: I am naturally a very shy person. I think I pick up on auras, I tend to be able to judge whether I will get on with a person very quickly.
Describe yourself in one sentence.
SLW: I’m a little bit like puppy, full of fun, energy, excitement and positivity, but then crash into a little exhausted ball at the end of the day!!
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
SLW: I would banish GREED. If that was removed, the world would be a more balanced place. Where opportunities are equal for all. Greed and money are two of my hates in this world. They can bring out the worst in people.
What’s your favourite way to unwind after a busy day?
SLW: A frantic race around the house with Erik!!!! We have bonkers fun, and it’s also a great way to let off all that work steam!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
SLW: ABBA – I ADORE them!!! Know all the songs word for word!!!!
Do you have hidden talents?
SLW: I LOVE to needle felt! I often like to make mini versions of my characters when I can find the time.
If you could choose a super power, what would it be?
SLW: ‘The Giggle Charm’ I would make grumpy people laugh ALL DAY!
What fictional place would you like to visit most?
SLW: I would definitely jump on the Hogwarts Express and set off to embrace my magical powers at the one and only Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
SLW: Dried out pineapple! It’s got the weirdest texture and shouldn’t be a thing, but in all honesty... it tastes so good! Who knew!
What trend do you hope makes a comeback?
SLW: Flowerpower! I’m a MASSIVE lover of the 60s and I would SO be a hippie in a field embracing nature and just living the boho dream, with flowers in my hair! I swear I’m a reincarnation of a soul that was around at that time!