INTERVIEW with RICHARD SHORE, author of HURRAHTUM ADVENTURES
It's been a while since we did an author interview, and we're pleased to hear from children's author Richard Shore! Learning about this author has reinforced a belief of mine: parents can do so much to instill a love of reading and learning in their children.
I have the fondest memories of my dad telling me stories and reading to me. When I was little, he made up stories about the Stinky Platypus family (my favorites), and as I grew, he read to me the short stories of Mark Twain and the poetry of Milton. I have a feeling that Richard Shore's children will appreciate his storytelling all of their lives. And here's the great thing. Now we can all enjoy his stories, too!
What was your inspiration for writing Hurrahtum Adventures? And what was the writing process like?
Initially, my two book series were just about personally writing unique stories for my children.
I moved to Co. Waterford with my family in 2009, having lived in the UK. The move was mostly about having a fulfilling childhood for my children – great outdoors, community and lifestyle.
I’ve always loved reading bedtime stories to my children - it’s a special moment. It makes them happy, and a perfect end to a day.
So I set about writing books on computer for my children. I printed out the sheets, hand drew illustrations to bring the books to life, and then created a cover and bound them. My children now have three books in each series, carefully tucked away in their bedside cabinets.
They loved them and I also received other positive reviews. So I decided to publish them, to be available online through e-readers.
When I started the first book in the Hurrahtum Adventures! series – The Stranded Surfer, it was loosely based on a house located on a favourite beach of ours. And as I have a passion for surfing, the idea started to form fairly quickly in my head.
The other story ideas quickly followed, which were based again on things happening in my life, and my children’s at that time – real life experiences.
Tell us about Will's Wild Adventures. What kinds of readers would most enjoy it?
Will’s Wild Adventures is all about a boy who has exciting escapades in an incredible wilderness. And when he’s on an adventure, he’s helped by a special tool shed with every tool you can think of.
My inspiration is from interest in survival techniques, building things, wildlife and woodland walks.
Aimed at 3 – 7 year olds, the books are ideal for those who love a heart-warming, adventurous bedtime story. Because they are a series, young children embrace the character, and quickly relish how Will tackles his next adventure.
Do you enjoy writing in other genres?
As a marketing consultant, I write professionally from day to day, helping clients in many different sectors.
So it’s enjoyable for me when I’m working on these books, to just focus on this genre. I have a great passion for reading bedtime stories – although my children are now too old for this!
What's the most challenging aspect of writing for children?
Making sure that each paragraph balances an engaging and exciting read, with not being too intense with adventures – they are aimed at sending a child to sleep with happy memories after all! So each book is easy to understand, and every word chosen to ensure is has the right feel.
Do you have any new writing projects you're working on?
I’m currently working on The Tangled Tuna in the Hurrahtum Adventures! series. It focuses on a relevant issue today for us all – ocean debris and specifically ghost fishing (nets that are discarded from boats that continue to cause harm to ocean creatures). Ghost fishing nets also account for approximately 10 per cent of all ocean waste.
The book sees Lucy rescue tuna caught in a fishing net. The book is completed along with illustrations, and launching in summer 2020. I’m currently in discussions with organisations who help ocean pollution – so I can donate profits from The Tangled Tuna to support their cause.
Is there anything else you'd like to tell Book Pound readers?
In summary, Hurrahtum Adventures! features Lucy, a girl living by the sea, who has amazing adventures when she says a magic word – Hurrahtum!
The word magically makes a cove and boat appear, which she has many exciting adventures with. They range from helping a surfer in trouble, creating a birthday present for a friend, and returning a lost seal to its family.
Will’s Wild Adventures is based on a boy who lives in an amazing wilderness – surrounded by a crystal clear flowing river, tall forest, and snow-capped mountains. And when he’s on an adventure, he can get help from a special shed, with every tool you can think of.
So far, Will has helped a beaver family in trouble after a storm. He also discovers a dinosaur after an earthquake, and his latest book sees Will solve a spooky mystery at a mine, and gets an unexpected surprise.
Head on over to Amazon to find Richard's books. You can also find him at his website and on Twitter. Thanks, Richard!