An Interview with Author Seema Barker

An announcement is made at the Thameside Theatre in Grays that Seema Barker is among us. She is sitting in the row behind me. ‘Ah, so that’s who I’ll be interviewing!’ I completely understand why she is the author of a book for children as she is surrounded by her own three children. Local resident and talent Seema is applauded for her achievement; the release of her first book, ‘The Tangle Fairy.’
I interview Seema to find out her journey to becoming an author:

Q. What made you want to write and be an author?
A. I love reading books and stories. I read books to my children and I also make them up from my own imagination.

Q. What inspired your new release ‘The Tangle Fairy’?
A. My eldest daughter woke up one morning and asked me ‘why do I always wake up with tangles in my hair?’ Rather than giving her a conventional answer, I made up a story for her. When I told my friend this, she was astounded that I actually make up convincing stories and this is what prompted me to actually publish something.

Q. How difficult was it to produce something new and different to other stories that are already on the shelves for children?
A. The book market is very narrow and is saturated by famous authors so it is very hard to break in to. One thing that differentiates ‘The Tangle Fairy’ from most other stories for children is its style. It is written in rhyming verse. ‘I love reading children’s stories in rhyming verse.’

Q. What is the publishing process like? How did you find the process of approaching publishers?
A. It took me three years to find a publisher. Rejection is very hard and it was also difficult for me as I had children to look after at the same time.

Q. As an adult, how difficult was it for you to know what a child wants from their stories?
A. It wasn’t hard as an adult to write stories for children and ‘my own children are honest critiques.’ ‘I love fantasy’ so for me it is easy to get in to a child’s mind frame.

Q. What do the illustrations do for the story itself? How did you come about the illustrations?
A. This is a picture book. The publisher found the illustrator. I was aware of the illustrators style and I approved it. I asked for ‘big, beautiful and bright.’

…And I think that sums up this book!

Seema Barker will be selling and signing copies of ‘The Tangle Fairy’ at Waterstones, Lakeside Shopping Centre Thurrock on Saturday 26th November. Seema will also be attending the Essex Book Festival.