Thursday, April 15, 2010

Take Two! Claire Saxby talks about There Was an Old Sailor...

Today Claire Saxby takes the hot seat to answer two curious questions about her new picture book, "There Was An Old Sailor", illustrated by Cassandra Allen, and published by Walker Books.

Q.1. A fish diet is meant to be rather good for the figure, but the old sailor on your cover is a brawny sailor indeed. Does this mean fish is NOT slimming, or does he sometimes sneak a bag of chips?

A.1. It's all about quantity isn't it? I mean a fish diet is one thing, but who would want to look like a fish...unless of course you're a mermaid and we all know about mermaids! My sailor never quite knows when his next meal is coming and he likes to eat like he lives - LARGE. He stores away energy against the lean times. Although, he will confess, that times have been good of late. Long may they continue.

Q. 2. Is the text of "There Was an Old Sailor" designed to be spoken or half sung, as in the original "Old Woman" rhyme? And how did you come up with a sailor as the protagonist?

A.2. It is a spoken text, but it is quite difficult to keep the song out of it. I like to think of it as being like a hot air balloon. Solid and structurally sound on the ground, but capable of lifting off and carrying all with it. I have never shared it with a group where at least some of the listeners weren't joining in by about the middle of the story. That's something that doesn't happen with prose stories, generally.

Sailor as protagonist. Well, it was a gift really. When a casual throwaway remark bemoaned the lack of ocean-themed, cumulative rhymes for young children, the sailor just stood up and bellowed 'Pick me! Pick me!' How could I refuse?

To find out more about Claire, her writing, and her new book, check out her website at

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Take Two! Courtney Breazile talks about Lilly's Turn for a Rose (Readers over 18)

Please welcome Courtney Breazile who answers two questions about her new paranormal short "Lilly's Turn for a Rose", available from eXtasy Books. Please note; this book is suitable for adults only, although the interview is OK for general readers.

Q.1. “Lilly’s Turn for a Rose” is one of the most delightful titles I’ve encountered. What came first, title or story?

A.1. I came up with the title right as I was starting the story, before I really knew what the story was going to entail. So I would say the title helped create the story.

Q.2. Where did the initial idea for “Lilly’s Turn for a Rose” come from?

A.2. It came from the meaning behind lilac colored roses. The lilac rose means love at first sight and the need to proceed with caution. Which my character Lilly needs to do with Myra.

Thanks, Courtney! Courtney will be back later in this series to talk about her paranormal Keeping Blood.

To find out more, including how to purchase Lilly's Turn for a Rose, check out Courtney's website at or the publisher at but remember, you must be over eighteen.