Born in Staffordshire, Christine grew up in an Anglo-Irish family. She attended a Catholic convent and grammar school and attained a BA Hons in Business Studies at Staffordshire University.
She has a wonderful daughter and two beautiful grandchildren, Max aged 9 and Kristen aged 4.
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
CJ: Well, wanting to write was never something I ever really thought about over the years and it wasn’t until I retired and spent lots of time with the grandchildren, did I think about writing children’s stories. I think of myself as a storyteller, rather than a writer.
2. Where do you get your ideas or information for your book?
CJ: When my grandson was little and he stayed over on a Saturday night, I would always read him stories at bedtime. On the one occasion when I said that I hadn’t got a book to read to him, he said “Make one up, Nani.” So, you could say that my original inspiration came from my grandson and the things we have done together.
3. How long does it take to write your book(s)?
CJ: My stories have a word count of between 5 and 10 thousand words. Children’s chapter books, so once I have an idea for a book, it doesn’t take me too long to write the manuscript. However, getting an idea for a story is the hard part and this can take weeks or even months.
4. When did you write your first book?
CJ: My first book, “Max Mole and the Dinosaurs,” was published in 2017. In 2018, I wrote a follow-up story, “Max Mouse and the Doll’s House” and having become involved with The Philip Astley Project during the 250th anniversary of the Circus, I also released “The Magic Rocking Horse,” a story of circus, magic, horses and Christmas. The Philip Astley Project is an ongoing project to recognize Philip Astley, born in my hometown, as the father of the modern circus. This year, I have written a story entitled “Kristen and the Crow – The Cabbage Patch,” which is due to be officially released in January. All in all, I’ve written 4 books and they are all my favorites, albeit I’m super excited about receiving the first copy of Kristen and the Crow from the printers.
I’ve also started writing kids funny poems with titles such as, “I Lost my Dimple”, “The Tooth Fairy,” “The Whoopee Cushion.” Etc.,
5. What do you do when you’re not writing?
CJ: I am busier than ever now and when I’m not writing I am a volunteer reading support for Year 3 at the local primary school, I organize readings and children’s activities at my local libraries, our museum and for the nursery children at our University library. I also partake in a weekly Pilates class to keep fit.
6. What does your family think of your writing?
CJ: Mmmm! I’m not sure really. They are very supportive in the things that I do and I am very grateful for their encouragement.
7. What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?
CJ: I read somewhere that there’s no better way to show you love someone, than to write them a book. So, writing books for my grandchildren is one of the ways I show my love for them, apart from giving them my time playing with them, taking them to swimming lessons and picking them up from school on Tuesdays!!
8. Any tips/suggestions on getting started?
CJ: If you want to write a book, go ahead and just do it. But always employ a good proof reader and an illustrator whose illustrations you just love.
9. What do you think makes a good story?
CJ: That’s a very subjective question and can be different for everyone, but characters that children can relate to, a bit of scary danger and an element of surprise.
10. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
CJ: A vet! I never made it!