It was a great event, we had coffee and cake with Celia and she started off by praising our blogging and telling us how her own blog suffers because she doesn't get enough time to update it. I thought this was really nice because I haven't heard many authors mention bloggers and how much use we are to them and although I think we are useful resources, it was nice to have it clarified!
Celia then went on to share her reasons for moving away from her historical fiction and into contemporary. I was interested to hear that Celia used to actually write contemporary fiction until about ten years ago and then she started historical and Witch Child was published, which is what many people know Celia for.
Whilst talking about her move from historical to contemporary Celia shared with us the reasons behind her starting to write in the first place, her previous work as a teacher made her want to write and she often wrote stories with the children in her class. It sounded like a brilliant class to be honest! One of Celia's better known older contemporary books is The Bailey Game and she told us how she wrote about that after asking her own daughter what she would like to read.
Then Celia started explaining where the idea for This is Not Forgiveness (her latest book, reviewed here.) came from. The story was based on the French book and film, Jules and Jim, which I have never heard about but sees two friends get involved with the wild Catherine. Its set around the time of World War 1 but Celia saw how the story could be brought forward because of how relevant it still was nowadays.
I was interested to find out that Rob and Jamie actually started out as Jamie and his friend in the cafe at the beginning of the book but Celia changed it to them being brothers. I thought that showed a lot about Celia's writing process and how easy it is for things to change during anyones writing process.
I got the feeling that Celia knows exactly what her readers want from her when she mentioned that she knows her books need to be page-turners to get the kids reading them interested enough to keep going. Its good to know your market and Celia definitely does which explains why she has been so successful over the years!
It was great to meet Celia, I was in awe of her throughout which is why I kept kinda quiet and didn't ask many questions. Celia has been a well known author for me since Witch Child came out when I was in my teens so I think I was a bit starstruck at meeting her! I love that I now have signed copies of TINF and The Wish House which is also a great book. Thank you to Celia and Bloomsbury for inviting me to a great meet up!
(PS. I dont have any pictures as the ones I took are on my camera and it wont connect to my computer darnit! I will remember this for next time and take some on my phone!)