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  • Writer's pictureAngela Barton

Being a Friend at Christmas.

Welcome to my blog, Carol. With Christmas fast approaching, I hear you've written a new children's book called, Being a Friend at Christmas. I've a few questions that lots of us would be interested to hear about.

Hello, thank you so much for having me on your blog.

1.  Do you include memories or objects from your own childhood when writing stories for children?

No, but I do include some of the things I enjoyed most about books when I was little, rhyming and cute animals. My favourite book was Five Little Kittens. I can remember my mum reading it to me. I still have my Ladybird copy. It is quite a vivid memory as I wasn’t a big lover of books, preferring to play with toy cars, but I really liked that book and sharing it with my mum was special.

2. Are your own children good critics? Do your stories need to get the thumbs-up from them first?

Yes, definitely. I also have two grandchildren, so together, that’s six readers to please before anybody else has seen it. While they are all beyond the picture book stage, they share a love of books and are more than happy to offer their opinions. It was quite a family effort.

3. You’re also a published novelist. What came first, the chicken or the  children’s stories or adult novels?

Haha, writing for adults came first and I never really set out to write a children’s book. The first, Being A Friend, came to me after reading my son a bedtime story. I was looking at a picture of him with our dog, Benson, and just started saying it.

Knowing how quickly ideas can come and go, I wrote the first verses down on his Magnadoodle so as not to forget them. I then wrote the rest over the coming weeks working on the rhyme scheme and ensuring I’d included some interactivity. As an experienced teacher, I know the importance of engaging and holding young reader’s attention.

My son, Edward, and my dog, Benson, were used for inspiration for the illustrations. It’s been quite handy on book day as my son has gone dressed as himself!

4. Without giving anything away, can you tell us a little about what happens in the story?

In my book Being A Friend, I wrote about a puppy in a dog shelter in need of a best friend and a home. This book is about that puppy’s first Christmas in his new home. (Though it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone story too.)

With Christmas approaching the little pup knows how lucky he has been, but he also thinks about those dogs he left behind in the shelter. Wanting to do something for them, he has to be brave and enlist Father Christmas’ help. 

If you want more of a sneak peek, here’s the book trailer:

It was fun to write and illustrate, especially as I love dogs and Christmas stories!

5. When will your book be available and where can we buy it?

(I’m thinking about stocking fillers!)

Great idea. I’ve been told it will make a great stocking filler for any young dog lover. Aimed at ages 0-7 it is out now and can be purchased from Amazon

I hope readers enjoy it and the end of the story encourages them to think of their own Christmas wishes. I'm very happy for them to get in touch and share their wishes. I can be contacted via my website – links below.

About the author:

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and has taught in primary schools for just over twenty years. Carol writes for both adults and children. Her children's books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters young children can relate to.

To find out more about books by Carol Thomas

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Carol Thomas - Author
Carol Thomas - Author
13 sep. 2020

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Angela. xx

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