A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
There are many inspirational people who I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with over the years. They have influenced all aspects of my life. But today I am going to talk about those who inspire me as an author.
The logical place to start is with the people who inspired me to write in the first place. These are the authors of the children’s books I grew up with, whose words transported me into worlds of magic and adventure – to far flung planets and distant futures, or back into the ancient world and civilisations long forgotten. The more I read as a child the more worlds of my own started to form – my own stories, my own words, and I discovered the joy that writing gives.
There are the people who inspire me to keep going when I feel like giving up. These are the other writers. Throughout the whole process of learning the craft to achieving publication through to everything else that comes with being an author, I have been fortunate to have found a community of fellow writers who are all so supportive, celebrating the successes or one another and consoling the downhearted. Those who signed with agents or got book deals before me showed me that it could be done and their example was motivational.
Then there are those who show me that there is still so much more to be achieved – my author friends and mentors, who are a constant reminder that there is still another story to be told, another book to be written, new worlds and wonderful characters that I have yet to meet. Because of them I am constantly striving to improve.
And lastly the people who inspire the characters and stories I develop. These are the people all around me, strangers on the bus that make me think “I wonder what her story is?” or “What if?” Odd snippets in the news, a quirky fact, someone wearing shorts in the middle of winter. There’s always a story to be found. You just have to look.
But there is one person who was all of these and more.
That man was my father. He was a writer himself and my first attempt at writing was, as a small child, banging away on an old typewriter as he sat and typed on his. It was his love of storytelling, sitting by the fire on a winters evening, hanging off every word he said as small children do, that gave me the love of stories. When my turn came I told stories to my own children and saw the magic light up their eyes. Writing is his gift to me and I owe him for that.
I am sad that he was not here to see my own book finally published. But I know he is with me throughout my journey as a writer. The worlds and characters he invented sometimes find themselves creeping into the stories I tell. And in all of my heroes there is a little bit of him.
Kate Kelly is a marine scientist by day but by night she writes SF thrillers for kids. Her debut novel Red Rock, a Cli-Fi thriller for teens, is published by Curious Fox. She lives in Dorset with her husband, two daughters and assorted pets and blogs at http://scribblingseaserpent.blogspot.co.uk/