A Derbyshire-based author, Sue Wilkins crafts stunningly illustrated stories that really come to life. She discusses her work in more detail and the inspiration behind it.
“Over the years I have written many humorous poems for birthdays and other celebrations. When a friend challenged me to write a story, at first I dismissed it as a joke. But then I thought: why not? I’ll give it a go. During the next five years, it was my passion and creativity that produced the story, but it was my dogged determination that led me to strive towards publication. My first book, Alfie’s Story, published in 2014, is a true tale about a stray kitten. This was closely followed by Fearless Flynn, a mouse who dares to be different and who had featured on some of the illustrations in Alfie’s Story.
“Next came Arkwright the Duck, a commission by The Arkwright Society at Cromford Mill in Derbyshire. They asked me to write an adventure for their mascot, a soft toy, named after the famous industrialist, Sir Richard Arkwright. My fourth book, Milly, Molly and Maisy is another true story about three kittens I adopted from an animal sanctuary. The next story, to be published later this year, Owl to the Rescue, was inspired by a visit to an owl and otter sanctuary. I write in rhyming couplets, making the stories easy to read and memorable. Luckily, I appear to have chosen characters that appeal to children and adults alike. I have also recently had a few soft toys designed which are proving to be very popular.”
Throughout the past five years Sue has enhanced her presence in the children’s book market, with sales to date totalling more than 10,000, and today she is renowned for her memorable characters and unique plots. She explores how far she has come and how she is still working to develop her brand.
“My books are stocked by gift shops, garden centres, independent bookshops and numerous other retail outlets within my home county of Derbyshire. Recently, I have attended national fairs and shows such as Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace and as a result have secured some national outlets. This year I will be attending the British Craft Trade Fair, a three-day event held in Harrogate where I will be speaking to retailers and distributors from across the country.
“One aspect of my success of which I am very proud is that two of my books (Alfie and Milly) are now promoted by www.nurtureuk.org – anorganisation that supports fostered and adopted children and their families. These two books are about me adopting animals and they are now being used to help adoptive and birth children talk about and make sense of their experiences.”
Commenting on the state of the book industry, Sue states: “I am very optimistic about children’s books. Digital media has its place, but I am hearing more and more from adults and children alike that you can’t beat a good old-fashioned book at bedtime. Feedback that I receive from all over the world – the latest from 7-year old Ella in Australia – shows me that they love my books and my characters.”
Sue is also committed to encouraging the next generation of writers and to this end frequently goes into primary schools to read her stories to the younger children and answer questions from the older ones such as “where do you get your inspiration from?”, “how do you publish a book?” and “are you a millionaire yet?”
Looking to the future, Sue will continue to create and market her unique books and share her experience with even more readers over the years to come.
Company: Sue Wilkins Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: https://suewilkins.co.uk/