Author Claire Cope: “Never give up on your dreams”

As part of our Author series, Claire Cope tells us of the inspiration behind her writing and shares with us her belief that you should never give up on your dreams.

“I am a 37 year old primary school teacher from Hinckley and Mum to three boys, 17 year old Joshua and 6 year old twins Archie and Alfie . Last year I was successful in obtaining a publishing contract for a children’s story book that I wrote and illustated over twenty years ago when I was just 13 years of age. The book was published on 31st May 2019.

Here is an outline of my story – which I am keen to share as a message to others (particularly children) to never give up on your dreams.

As a child and teenager I was an avid reader and writer. I spent many hours of my free time writing and illustrating my own stories – I always dreamed that one day I would become an author. When I became a single mother at 19 years old my priorities shifted away from my writing ambitions and towards providing a better life and secure future for my young Son. I always felt passionate about working with children and so I embarked on a journey to become a primary school teacher undertaking 5 years of university study whilst also working part time.

In 2007 I qualified as a primary school teacher and I worked extremely hard in my profession, leading core subjects/ phases as school management as well as being a class teacher. In 2011 I met my fiance and we had our twin boys in 2012. Due to my busy work and family life my writing ambitions were very much sidelined. However, in 2016 my Mother Rosemary changed this. She had recently been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.  Just after her treatment, she found one of my original illustrated stories – Veronica and the Magic Spell Book – she had kept it in her loft for over twenty years.It was this discovery that prompted me to revisit my dream of writing and becoming a published author. One thing I learnt during my Mother’s period of ill health is that life is extremely precious and that you should always make the time to chase your dreams.

Although it was difficult to make the time to re draft and modify the story I originally wrote at 13 years of age, I dedicated my school holidays and all of my spare time at the weekends into doing so. I worked on the manuscript for the story of Veronica and the Magic Spell Book for over two years and then I reached a point where I felt that I should give up trying to get it published. However, in March 2018 an author visited the primary school that I work at. He did an extremely inspiring session for the children and after this I told my year six class about my own aspirations to become a published author. I also confessed that I had tried to write a story for publication but that I had stopped working on this ambition. I was sternly told by my class that, I always tell them to keep trying and therefore I should also continue to try to get my work published. As a result, I began to work on my manuscript again and within a few weeks I submitted it to Austin Macauley Publishers for consideration for publication. To my utter delight and amazement on Saturday 12th May 2018 I received a publishing contract for my story Veronica and the Magic Spell book  – it really was an astonishingly proud moment and proof that dreams really do come true. The book was published on 31st May and is currently available to buy online and in many book stores.

My original inspiration for the story was a belief in magic and true friendship – something I wanted to share with the young readers of the book.  I always intended that the story of Veronica and the Magic Spell book be one of enchantment and wonder,  but I now also feel that the book stands for something else – it is never too late to chase your dreams and never, ever give up.”

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