My name is Petra Quelch, and I am the author of Lottie Sparkles’ Magical Discovery.
I love writing stories! The more magical the stories are the better. I started writing when I was eight years old. I would save all my pocket money and at the end of every month, I would go to one of my favourite stationery shops and buy notebooks, pencils and rubbers. Then I would scribble away until my notebooks were filled with stories. My stories were mainly about fairies, magical shoes, ovens and hats, dragons that could read and write and snails with luxurious houses on their backs. I would set up a little reading corner and invite my family to come and listen to my stories. Who would like that?
I find inspiration everywhere around me; particularly nature, children and libraries. I enjoy using animals as my characters, giving them human-like qualities. In my book, all the animals want to feel sparkly just like Lottie so they will do anything to sink their teeth into Lottie’s shiny wardrobe. Libraries are like the kingdoms of stories; not only can I borrow lots and lots of books, I always have the feeling of invisible magic weaving itself around the library shelves urging me to pick a book or two and enter different worlds at the turn of a page. Is your library magical too?
But my biggest inspirations are children and their unlimited source of wondrous and inquisitive imagination. I am fortunate enough to be working with children, so I have a constant supply of inspiration at my fingertips. My children are little bookworms, the more books they have the happier they are. When we run out of books to read at home, they demand that I make up stories for them and that is how my first book, Lottie Sparkles’ Magical Discovery was born.
Lottie has everything she could want, lots of toys, sparkly clothes and accessories but she is feeling a little bit lonely in her world. She acts like a diva, doesn’t like anything dirty or muddy and would never leave her house without the sparkliest pair of shoes. Then she gets the terrible news. She is going on holiday …to the countryside to visit her grandparents. Lottie Sparkles quickly learns that the countryside is far from boring; there are cheeky animals and magic in the air… I loved creating Lottie’s character. In my mind, she was a bit of a diva that delights in glitz and glamour and that’s where the fun began. Like many authors, I always start with a character and give it a name, thinking what would make them unique, would they be magical or would they receive something magical in the post or find it somewhere in their house or attic? Then I start working on the setting of the story. My first book takes place in an old farmhouse attic because I wanted to create a sense of mystery and magic.
I use lots and lots of sticky notes to plot my books. In the beginning, I draw a tree but instead of leaves, the tree branches are sprouting sticky notes full of information about the characters, the plot summary, obstacles the main characters have to jump over to get to solve their problems and other little facts. To my children’s utter delight, the sticky notes sometimes decorate our house from the top to the bottom and they have a feeling like they are part of the story. Being an author and creating magical worlds for children to enjoy is one of the most satisfying jobs in the world.