WLM Member Monday – Sue Clamp

 

Sue Clamp MM

Victoria Twead: Today, fantastic WLM member and mod, Sue Clamp is happy to answer any questions from us. *Whispers* Don’t forget to ask her about the elves…

Alison Teeshirts:  Morning Sue! how did i miss that you were on here today? have a fab time and i’m sure Agnil will help you out!

Jacqueline Brown:  Morning Sue, you sound so interesting I don’t know where to start with the questions. But go on then, tell me about the elves! Where did you meet and what do they tell you?

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Morning Sue – I was just going to ask that – also when do they talk to you?

Sue Clamp:  Good morning everybody!. Hi Alison! Don’t know how you missed it – Victoria announced it a couple of days ago.

–Jacqueline and Anne, the elves started telling me stories over a year ago. I teach in a primary school and one of the literacy units of work in our particular year group is ‘stories from imaginary worlds’. When we are teaching the children to write stories, we often model the writing process and I started to put down a story that had made its way into my head. At the end of the unit of work I had a short story. The teaching assistant in my class at the time asked me for a copy of it as she’d enjoyed it so much. Shortly after that she was taken ill with breast cancer and I have included her in the dedication in the first book I wrote. Without her asking me for the story, I don’t know if I would ever have got around to writing a book.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Wow – the story must have been there all along – just waiting to escape. My niece was always talking to ‘imaginary friends’ when she was little I wonder if it was the elves!

Sue Clamp:  The ‘elves’ are those little sparks of creativity in all of us. Young children have them but often we, as adults, lose sight of them. Our lives are so busy with the daily grind and practicalities of life that they hide. Often that little creative flame dies completely but you just need to listen to your inner child and hopefully it returns. I have found writing an incredibly compelling, uplifting and freeing experience.

–Of course it’s the elves, Anne! Encourage and nurture it, if you see it!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Did you write anything before the Agnil books Sue?

Sue Clamp:  Not since I was at school, really. I always enjoyed creative writing – not just stories but poetry too. I even dreamed a poem in Spanish once and then wrote it down the next morning!

Fay Kearney:  Morning Sue, did you meet your partner through a dedicated site? How long was it before you met and did you have any unusual experiences in the process? x

Sue Clamp:  Hi Fay! No it wasn’t a dedicated site at all! In December 1995 I treated myself to an internet connection for Christmas and the package I paid for came complete with web space. I decided to teach myself a bit of HTML and built my own simple web site. At the time I was using an Acorn RISC OS computer (they were commonly used in education in the UK in those days) and my site got listed on a site of RISC OS users. An art teacher from Germany got in touch through that link (he was also using a similar computer), we started emailing each other and the rest is history! It was about 6 weeks, I think before we decided to meet up. It just felt ‘right’!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  That is interesting – about your Acorn. My husband, has just this weekend, sold his 3 Acorn Electrons on e-bay. I know the RISC was more advanced than the Electron, but hubby taught himself an awful lot by using his including programming.

Fay Kearney:  How lovely . Everything happens for a reason.

Sue Clamp:  They were great computers, Anne! I also taught myself a lot.

Cherry Gregory:  Hi Sue! How are your elves? Are they any good at using computers or do they just use magic?

Sue Clamp:  Absolutely, Fay!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  He is sorry to see them go – but now we have retired we are downsizing.

Sue Clamp:  Good morning, Cherry! The elves know nothing about computers but they’re very good at magic. They don’t need Skype and mobile phones when they’ve got a magical wizard’s orb!

–Anne, I still have my old Risc PC tucked into a corner at home. I suppose that I’ll have to get rid of it soon too!

Cherry Gregory:  Lucky elves. I am hopeless with computers.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Tell us about being an ante-natal teacher please.

Sue Clamp:  I trained to become an ante-natal teacher after the birth of my second daughter. I’d attended classes with the National Childbirth Trust and thought they were so good that I wanted to help other couples in the same way. I even ended up as someone’s birth partner once. The lady’s husband had walked out on her two weeks before the baby was due. She rang and asked me if I’d come with her to the hospital to support her, so I did. I was involved with the NCT for a number of years and helped run the local support group.

Charlotte Smith:  Hi Sue. Have you found out any fascinating secrets while researching your family history?

Cherry Gregory:  Your NCT involvement sounds fantastic, Sue. Good on you, especially being somebody’s birth partner!

Sue Clamp:  Hi Charlotte! I have indeed! I have an ancestor who was a doctor in the court of Philip the fifth of Spain in the 18th century. I have found several bits and pieces about him online, including the fact that in 1739 he was chosen by the King to accompany the French King’s daughter, Louise Isabelle, aged 12 at the time, from the French border to Madrid, to marry King Philip’s son. He wrote a couple of books on medicine – he specialised in purging! I managed to buy a book he’d written from Amazon a few months ago!

–I have other ancestors who were “escribanos” in a town called Linares in Andalucia. Their role included writing down everybody’s name in the town’s ‘padron’ – a kind of annual census. It must have kept them busy! But it’s thanks to the work of these escribanos and others like them that I have found out so much about my family.

Susan Joyce:  Good morning Sue! I got up early to join in before they cut our power off in a few minutes for maintenance. I know you write under the pen name Susan Navas. How did you choose this author name? Is it something from your family history?

Sue Clamp:  Good morning, Susan! If I had been born in Spain, I would have had two surnames. Navas would have been my second surname. It comes from my mother’s father.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  In my early 20’s I worked as an auxiliary nurse in our local Maternity home, I loved working there especially being present at births. I would have loved to have trained as a midwife but circumstances prevented this. I think I would have liked to be involved with NCT too but I had never heard of it at that time. What made you change careers?

Sue Clamp:  Good question, Anne! I had originally trained as a primary school teacher. While I was doing my NCT teaching, I taught one couple who were both teachers at the time. The husband said to me that I should consider going back into teaching children. There was a “Return to Teaching” course going on locally at the time to encourage teachers who’d had career breaks to bring up their own children to come back into the classroom.

–Anne, my first two children were born in a lovely little maternity home. It’s a pity those places don’t seem to exist anymore! Being present when a new life comes into this world is a huge privilege!

Susan Joyce:  I love your description of elves” …those little sparks of creativity in all of us.” It’s certainly been true in my life. I’m a believer.

–Is your book available in Spanish? How did you get it published through Ant Press?

Sue Clamp:  The book isn’t yet available in Spanish but maybe one day, who knows! I was lucky that Ant Press took it on as it’s not their usual genre. They must have liked the manuscript!

–There will be other books in the series soon. I’m just waiting on the illustrations for book 2 and I’ve started writing the third.

Susan Joyce:  The book cover is wonderful! Who did the art?

–Is it Charlotte Moore? AKA … Whimsical illustrations!

Sue Clamp:  Alison Teeshirts, otherwise know as Charlotte Moore, did all the illustrations and is currently making some final tweaks to the illustrations for book 2. We have a great working relationship and seem to think along similar lines. We met thanks to WLM!

Valerie Robson:  Just saying Hi, so I can follow the link… xxx

Sue Clamp:  Hi Valerie Robson! *Waves from Germany!*

Alison Teeshirts:  [thanks Sue ] you are great to work with too!

Sue Clamp:  I hope Susan loves the cover (and illustrations) of the second book just as much. I adore the new cover design, Alison!

Alison Teeshirts:  i am in love with Cranus..what does that say about me? lol

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  That you maybe have a creative, nutty, weird, lovable mind

Sue Clamp:  So am I – I think he represents all that’s right and good. That’s why we like him!

Victoria Twead:  Me too, Alison Teeshirts. You’ll have to fight me for him.

Alison Teeshirts:  You got me summed up Anne Wine O’clock Durrant!

–i think i have joint first dabs Vicky! lol

Sue Clamp:  It’s funny, as soon as I wrote him into the first book, I knew I wanted him back! He’s the “needle that pulls the thread that holds us all together”

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Sue – why have you been on TV?

Diana Delahoy:  Like the sound of the elves!

Sue Clamp:  Because of my father! He owned a 9.5mm film camera from when he was a young man in the late 1920’s and took it everywhere with him. After he died I found a suitcase full of film footage dating back from those times right through to the 1980’s. He mostly documented the surfing holidays he used to go on with his friends but also filmed at the Battle of Cable Street in 1936 and a visit to a Basque Children’s home in London in 1937. It was his surfing exploits though, that got me on TV! A documentary film producer heard about the films while he was researching a documentary about the Brits relationship with the sea. He asked if he could use some of the footage and came to film an interview with me. It turned out that the film my father and his friends had taken in Holywell Bay, Cornwall, was the earliest footage ever found of anyone trying to stand on a surfboard in the UK. He’d made the board himself and even made a waterproof box to strap to the board and filmed it skimming through the water. The documentary was called Sea Fever: The Joy of the Sea and was broadcast on BBC 4 so was probably only seen by about ten people! I was also on the local news because of it. We put some of the footage onto Youtube a few years ago, if anyone wants to have a look. It’s in three ten-minute sections: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aQlkEnkGWw

–Oh, and a book on the history of surfing in Britain had to be re-written because of my dad too!

Photo#1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aQlkEnkGWw

Sue Clamp:  It’s on my son’s Youtube account which is why it says “My Grandfather’s films”.

Victoria Twead:  This is Sue’s book, and Alison Teeshirts illustration.

TheRiseOfAgnilCover

 

Sue Clamp:  Thanks, Victoria!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Very interesting – will have a look on youtube later when I get back from town

Sue Clamp:  I hope you enjoy it Anne! Obviously we only chose the highlights from all his footage otherwise it would have been a very long film! I do the narration on the film.

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  See you later

Sue Clamp:  *Waves to Anne.*

Rowena Cardwell:  Hi Sue Clamp, not sure if you are still around, but you mention you are a keen photographer. Are you a professional photographer or amateur? Photography is my hobby these days and I am thinking of changing careers (I was made redundant late last year). I am reasonably good at set up shots of people. Do you have any advice for me on this please?

Susan Jackson:  So how many different country’s have you lived in? Where do you live now?

Mark Bean:  Tell us about the Elvis stories

Sue Clamp:  I’m here, Rowena! I will be here all day. I’m doing a bit of writing in between questions.

–I’m just an amateur photographer. You can find my photos here: www.flickr.com/photos/clamp/. I don’t do many people shots but have enjoyed photographing my granddaughter. The best advice I can give is for photographing people is to use natural light wherever possible. Not bright sunlight, but open shade if you’re outdoors, is best. Indoors it’s good to get your subject to sit near a window to benefit from that light. I have sold a few photos on Red Bubble in the form of greetings cards and even one t-shirt.

Water Lilies

Rowena Cardwell:  Wow, Thanks Sue Clamp. I will have a look at your photos tomorrow. It’s after 11.00pm at night here so I’ll be going soon. I mainly take photos of family events and have over 21,000 sitting on the apple so I need to clear some onto the external hard drive.

Sue Clamp:  Hi Susan! I’m in Germany at the moment, where my partner lives, so this has become my second home. I’m always here during the holidays. I’ve marked here and my UK location on the WLM map. I’ve never lived in Spain, even though I’ve been going there almost every year since I was born. I have family there and one day we’ll move there too. It’s where my heart belongs but at the moment we have elderly mothers (J’s is 103!) who keep us where we are at the moment. We’re a bit stuck! When I retire in the summer, no doubt I shall spend more of my time over here in Germany.

Susan Jackson:  What do you do with your photos?

Sue Clamp:  Elvis, Mark? Lol!

Susan Jackson:  What area of Germany i loved my time near Bitburg, so easy to go to Belgium, Luxemburg (my fav), France, etc

Rowena Cardwell:  Susan Jackson, not sure if your comment relates to me so I will answer it anyway. If the photo is good enough, I will often have it enlarged and give it as a gift. We have done recreations of photos from when we were kids. One memorable one was on Santa’s lap. No mean feat when you are one of five kids. We sat in the same spots as kids and gave it to our parents. I’m also the one called on to provide many of the photos for birthdays, events, etc.

Susan Jackson:  I can’t wait for book 2!!

Sue Clamp:  Susan, I’ll also answer. I don’t do much! I mostly just display them on Flickr. A couple have been used by the Botanic Garden in Cambridge to illustrate their ‘Friends’ newsletter and one or two others have been used in educational publications. I’ve been asked permission for some to be used on web sites and some I have for sale on Red Bubble. A few years ago I had some of my favourites framed and they now hang in my house. For a while I had calendars made to give as Christmas presents but I haven’t done that for a couple of years.

Susan Jackson:  My sister does calendars also and I look forward to them every year.

Sue Clamp:  I’m in a little town called Öhringen in the south west, about an hour’s drive north of Stuttgart. It’s a beautiful wine-growing area and only two hours drive to Alsace. We can drive to France for lunch from here

Susan Jackson:  I miss living in Germany but my husband felt he needed to be in the states in his old age He has followed me around for years so I felt it was only fair.

Sue Clamp:  Susan, it’s difficult but we have to go where we need to be. Here’s a set of photos that I took around this town: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clamp/sets/72157594212588759/

There are others of various places around here on my photostream.

Susan Jackson:  Groan–I love the painted windows, and the winter market–you tease me.

Sue Clamp:  Sadly, the house with the painted windows was knocked down a couple of years ago. I’m glad I documented them before they were lost

Susan Jackson: What!! Were we lived in Freurscheid they never knocked anything down.

Sue Clamp:  It’s very sad! Here they seem to let the houses deteriorate to the point where renovation is considered too costly. Then they knock the house down and build a small block of flats.

Susan Jackson:  Well, I have to go–tata

Sue Clamp:  Somebody’s out to make money, of course. Whenever I see a run down house here I like to take a photo in case it’s not here for long.

–Bye, Susan! Thanks for your questions today!

Fay Kearney:  How did your daughter end up in Helsinki Susan and what type of music does she produce?

Sue Clamp:  I’m just about to have short break while I have lunch. I’ll answer your question when I have finished, if that’s OK, Fay. See you soon!

Fay Kearney:  Sorry *sue*

— Enjoy your lunch

Sue Clamp:  I’m back now! Rebecca fell in love with Helsinki when she had a friend at school who was from Finland and went to visit many years ago. She ended up going there to work as an au pair originally and ended up staying. One of my favourite songs of hers is a song called Epiphany:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm-bR-WMGJI

This is from her second album, Key to the City. She is now working with another musician from the Netherlands and their music has taken a slightly different turn. As a day job, she teaches at the English School in Helsinki.

http://www.paloni.fi/ http://www.facebook.com/paloni.fi

Terry Bryan:  Your photos are beautiful! You could do coffee table books.

Sue Clamp:  Thanks, Terry, I’m glad you like them! I once made a book of photos of the Alhambra in Granada, using a web site called Blurb. It’s one of my favourite places. I get very emotional each time I visit. I also took the photos for my partner’s daughter’s wedding and gave them a book of the photos as a wedding present.

Woofie Wotsit:  Where are your Flickr photos, Sue?

Mark Bean:  Alhambra is very cool place

Sue Clamp:  I put the link further up the thread, Woofie. Let me know if you can’t find it.

Mary Griffith Chalupsky:  Glad to know all these things about you Sue..So..how far back have you been able to trace your ancestors?….

Woofie Wotsit:  You mean I gotta actually do some work and scroll up, Sue? *grin* Ta

Sue Clamp:  The Alhambra is magical, Mark! I can never get over its beauty and the effect it has on me. The Alhambra photos are all in this set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/clamp/sets/72157622072398947/

Hols09

 

Alison Teeshirts:  great pics Sue!

Sue Clamp:  Mary, one line of ancestors is documented right back to the beginning of the 17th century. They have a very funny surname – Lechuga – which means lettuce! A historian from that family did a very good job of documenting all the occurrences of the name in my grandfather’s home-town, in a book which made my research very easy. He even found out the origins of the name. The original family had been there since the 13th century. On the Polish side, I’ve only been able to go back to the early 19th century. Jews in Poland only started to use surnames as we know them very late. They used patronymics before that time which makes things more difficult to trace back. Added to that is the fact that many records were destroyed in Warsaw, where they were from, during WW2.

Fay Kearney:  Rebecca is lovely Sue, and she has a great voice. Have you visited her in Helsinki?

Sue Clamp:  Thanks, Alison! Sadly, I’ve never been to Finland but would really like to get there this autumn when I’ll have more time. I’m glad you enjoyed her voice, Fay!

Woofie Wotsit:  Wowsers!! Spectacular photos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You gotta tell me about yer camera gear when you ain’t so busy with this

Sue Clamp:  Thanks, Woofie! We can talk cameras anytime you like. I don’t use anything very special really.

–As people have expressed a love of the character, Cranus, you might like to know the inspiration came from here – down to using the same name: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/gods_c/cranus.html

Alan Parks:  Are you using one of those wretched apple thingamybobs?

Sue Clamp:  At J’s I’m sitting in front of a massive 27″ iMac, so yes! At home in the UK I have a smaller one. They’re wonderful, Alan

Terry Bryan:  Can you just tell me what kind of camera you have? We don’t have to do details…

Sue Clamp:  It’s an old Sony A300, Terry. They don’t make them anymore. My two main lenses are a 16-105mm Sony and a 50mm Minolta.

Terry Bryan:  Thanks. I’m always curious. I’d say don’t get rid of your stuff…such good pictures.

Sue Clamp:  Thanks, Terry. I can’t afford to get anything new right now anyway!

Terry Bryan:  And that’s a good thing!

Ann Patras:  Hi Sue, I hope no-one has asked you these questions (did check earlier, but a lot’s gone on since).

–My first question is: I have read the origin of your pen-name, but what made you decide to use a pen-name in the first place?

Sue Clamp:  Hi Ann! I didn’t much fancy the surname Clamp as a pen name!

Ann Patras:  Fair enough. I was thinking of taking one up too, my surname being pretty distinctive.

–Next. I must confess to not having read your book yet, hopefully to be remedied soon. Working with children you obviously have quite an insight of what they would like. I have read reviews on Amazon UK, and seen the enthusiasm of the members on WLM for The Rise of Agnil, who are all clearly adults; but how do you get feedback or even reviews from children who have read it? They are unlikely to come into contact with book websites, especially at the targeted age.

Sue Clamp:  That’s a tricky one, Ann, and I don’t have a definitive answer. I’m trying to build up my web site to be child-friendly for a start. There’s a wordsearch and a quiz competition based on the first book there already and I hope to be adding some colouring pages soon for the children to download and print out. I have an idea about creating a downloadable board game too. Last Friday I gave a bookmark to every child in the school which had the URL of the web site printed on it. Children may not come into general book web sites but hopefully they might look into the web site of an author whose book they’ve enjoyed!

–I do have one review from a child on Amazon and I’m trying to encourage the children at school to leave reviews but, of course, they need to have their parents help them do that. I’ve had very positive feedback from adults who have read the book and that makes me very happy. If adults as well as children enjoy the book then I feel I have succeeded. All I ever wanted to do was to tell stories that people enjoy. If it appeals to all ages then that’s good!

–If anyone’s got any good answers to Ann’s question, I’d be more than happy to hear them and if anyone wants to give me feedback on the web site, it’s at susannavas.com

Ann Patras:  Brilliant. Long may it continue, Sue. Not that I’m thinking of trying to write for children, but I was curious. It certainly sounds like you are putting in a lot of effort to make your work attractive for kiddies. Good Luck.

Sue Clamp:  Thank you, Ann! You often hear it said that writing a book is the easy bit! Good luck with yours too!

Cherry Gregory:  Sorry I’ve been missing for a bit, had to rush off to see to my mum, but I’m back now and have caught up with all the chat. Great to see your photographs, Sue, and your daughter sing. Both are very impressive. What I want to ask is, what gave you the inspiration to write The Rise of Agnil?

Sue Clamp:   Hi, Cherry, good to see you back! I hope your mum is OK, I know what a worry it can be when parents become elderly and eventually frail.

The Rise of Agnil was born out of literacy lessons at school which eventually developed into two versions of a short story. Earlier last autumn when WLM first started, Henry Butterfield mentioned he was using a piece of software called Scrivener, for writing. I got curious and had a look at it. I’d been thinking about writing some historical fiction. I have two ideas for books which I am planning to get back to once I’ve retired and have a bit more time to focus. What I liked about Scrivener was that it made it easy for me to organize and contain my research within the program. I decided to strike while the iron was hot and bought it straight away. Once I had it, I thought I’d play with it by putting in all the bits and pieces I’d worked on with the stories at school, including pictures, character and setting descriptions. The book just seemed to pour out at that point. It wanted to be written! From start to finish it took me 5 days! As you know, it’s not a long book anyway. I decided to keep it to the length that I knew children of that target group could easily manage. Character names were difficult to come up with until I decided to look at Basque names. Most of the elf names are based on Basque names or words, with a slight change of my own. In the second book, I went to Norse names for inspiration as it is set in a very cold, Arctic tundra-type world. Sometimes names suggest characters and sometimes it’s the other way around!

Cherry Gregory:  Wow. Great that the book emerged from lessons at school and then came together after a suggestion by Henry. Good old Henry…he’s not just good at keeping wine cellars! I’m looking forward to the second book as I love the Norse legends. Are you now working on the third book?

Sue Clamp:  Yes, I’ve been starting chapter 3 today. The second book isn’t based on the Norse legends. It has the theme of bullying/persecution/apartheid with a smattering of David v. Goliath thrown in!

Cherry Gregory:  Sounds good…still looking forward to reading it! Do you teach the age group for which your books are aimed?

Sue Clamp:  I hope you’ll enjoy it, Cherry! Yes, I have a class of 8-9 year olds, but I know the book has been read to or read by children younger than the target audience.

Linda Kovic-Skow:  Sue Clamp I enjoyed reading through this thread. The footage of your father and his friends is so interesting. In the last part, they are certainly enjoying themselves. I enjoyed hearing your voice – what a nice touch. Have you ever considered writing about his life?

Sue Clamp:  Hi Linda! No I haven’t considered that at all, though I think that there is more than a bit of him in my character, Cranus, the old man of the woods. I’m glad you enjoyed the films, though. They really seemed to know how to let their hair down!

Cherry Gregory:  You say you are a “bit” Polish…how much is a bit?!

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Hi Sue – am back and just looked at all 3 of your fathers films – they are wonderful – I bet you and your son had fun editing them – what a labour of love that must have been, well done.

Sue Clamp:  Cherry, my father’s parents were Polish Jews from Warsaw. They went to the UK at the end of the 19th century. Sadly, both of them died before I was born.

Cherry Gregory:  Fascinating to have such an interesting family… what a glorious mix. Winston Churchill (who was half American, of course) always said that the best of the English were produced by mixing the English with other nationalities.

Sue Clamp:  Thank you, Anne! When I first had them all digitized and saw them all, I got very emotional. I felt I had to do something with them. The originals are now stored safely at Screen Archive South East in Brighton. Interestingly, one of my father’s friends in the films had a son who is now a professor of broadcast journalism. He wrote an article about receiving a copy of the films which was published in one of the broadsheet newspaper supplements in the UK some years ago. There was footage of his father who’d died when Ivor was 9, even of his parents’ wedding, which was very special to be able to give him. Other articles have appeared since that first one, mostly to do with the surfing history.

–Supper time! I’ll see you all a bit later!

Sue Clamp:  I’m back now! It’s so nice to have someone else prepare supper. Mind you I’ve baked bread today so I feel like I’ve done my bit too!

Alison Teeshirts:  Do you ever stop Sue?

Sue Clamp:  Only when I’m on holiday, Alison. Oh, I am on holiday! No peace for the wicked! I just like making the most of my time. I do sit and do nothing sometimes!

Linda Kovic-Skow:  I agree with Cherry Gregory. What an interesting life you’ve led Sue Clamp. Thanks so much for sharing with us. It never ceases to amaze me how incredible all of our members are here. Really great group of people.

Sue Clamp:  I’ve had fun, thank you, Linda! If there are any more questions, I’m still around and will be happy to answer!

Frank Kusy:  Hiya Sue, sorry late to the party, has anybody asked you about those elves yet?

Alison Teeshirts:  Lol Frank, I’m sure Sue will fill you in on the pesky things!

Sue Clamp:  Hi Frank! Glad you popped in! Oh yes, they have. If you scroll back, they’re right near the beginning of the thread But if there’s anything in particular you want to know, fire away!

Frank Kusy:  ‘Ow’s your elf, Allison?

Sue Clamp:  Tsk, tsk, Alison, they’re not at all pesky!

Frank Kusy:  Ah, those elves ‘those little sparks of creativity in all of us’. I like that.

Sue Clamp:  Actually, I just had a lovely comment left on the AW Facebook page by a friend of Rebecca’s and his young daughter about the book. Apparently she’s very particular about the books she likes and Agnil was a real hit!

Frank Kusy:  I loved Agnil, as you know Sue, is there a sequel in the pipeline? (or has someone already asked that too)

Sue Clamp:  It’ll be out shortly, Frank

Frank Kusy:  Yay!

Sue Clamp:  And I’ve already started book 3.

Alison Teeshirts:  Best do the amends on the illustrations then hadn’t i boss? Lol

Sue Clamp:  Yep! *Cracks the whip!*

Frank Kusy:  Get yer skates on Alison, she’ll be on book 20 before you know it!

Sue Clamp:  I’ve already given Alison a few hints about the third book so she can start her research. You wouldn’t believe the amount of research we’ve had to do for little books about elves!

Frank Kusy:  I woz going to ask you which bit of you is Polish (your ears?) but I gotta go feed Sparky, little critter just bit a chunk out of my knee, ouch!

Sue Clamp:  It was answered in the thread, Frank! It’s the bit of me that isn’t Spanish, basically.

–Actually, Frank, I have odd ears. They don’t match at all. Maybe it’s the elf in me trying to get out!

Frank Kusy:  Lol! I have odd ears too Sue, maybe it’s a Polish thing

Sue Clamp:  Maybe! You’re not a long lost distant cousin, are you?

Frank Kusy:  Could be! There’s voices inside my head mother, could they be elves??

–On a more serious vein Sue, what’s your favourite book and why?

Sue Clamp:  I have a feeling they probably are. Either that or the long term after effects of substances taken a long time ago!

–That’s a really good question, Frank, and impossible to pin down. I really love Philip Pullman’s, His Dark Materials trilogy. They are such ‘intelligent’ books for older children. He’s such a good writer! I’m reading another brilliant book to the kids at the moment, called, ‘I was a rat’. For adult reading I rate Henry Porter’s ‘The Dying Light’. It’s about the dangers of a surveillance society. The ending is a bit weak but it’s such an important book, in my opinion, that I’ve forgiven him for that. I also love Eowyn Ivey’s ‘The Snow Child’. It’s such a beautifully written book! An adult version of a Russian fairy tale.

Frank Kusy:  Must check out that rat book is it a bit like Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’?

Sue Clamp:  It’s about a boy who was (as in, used to be) a rat and the problems that gives him! It’s worth reading any of Pullman’s books. Another great one of his is ‘Clockwork’.

Frank Kusy:  Just added them to my burgeoning pile of books to read. How many books do you read in a week, Sue?

Micki Stokoe:  Hi Sue! I’ve enjoyed reading through the Fred, seeing your lovely photos & watching the videos!

Sue Clamp:  None at all while I’m at work! I have a stack of books in the queue on my Kindle. I was reading Rupee Millionaires on my stormy journey to Germany last Friday. Still nowhere near finished it but thoroughly enjoying it.

–Micki, I’ve had great fun today! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the ‘multimedia’ experience.

–As we’re heading towards midnight here, I’m going to call it a day before I turn into a pumpkin, or something like that! Goodnight all! X

Anne Wine O’clock Durrant:  Thanks for some great answers Sue – I am going to bed with Tony James Slater now – goodnight x

Fay Kearney:  Your answers have been so interesting Sue. Sweet dreams x

Cherry Gregory:  Thanks for all your answers, Sue. Goodnight.

Terry Bryan:  Thank you, Sue.

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