Sophie Cleverly was born in Bath in 1989. She studied for a BA in Creative Writing and an MA in Writing For Young People. Her Scarlet and Ivy series is published by HarperCollins worldwide and by Sourcebooks in the US, as well as being translated into 4 different languages.
Aside from writing, she can often be found blogging about symphonic metal, watching fantastical TV and struggling to find her way out of her ever-increasing pile of books.
Why did you want to become an author?
I always wanted to tell stories, ever since I could write. English was my favourite subject at school, and when I heard you could study Creative Writing at university, I decided to go for it.
Where do you get your ideas?
The way I see it is that my mind is like a well of ideas. The first thing I have to do is fill up the well – so that means not only reading as many different books as possible; but also listening to music, watching films, playing video games, looking at art, visiting interesting places… I keep doing that throughout my life, so that the well is always full. The next thing is to put a bucket down into the well and see what comes up. I do that in different ways. Sometimes, I use writing exercises (see below). Sometimes I just sit and daydream. Sometimes I look at pictures that inspire me to tell a story. Sometimes I read about a real thing that fascinates me, and I want to put it in a book. As long as you keep the well topped up, and you know how to send that bucket down, you will be overflowing with ideas.
How did you come up with Scarlet and Ivy?
I was in class one day at university, and we were given a writing exercise where we had to imagine a character returning to a room they hadn’t set foot in for a long time. I pictured a room with twin beds in it, but only saw one girl entering. Straight away I had the idea for a story about a missing twin, and a secret diary.
Who illustrates your books?
Who are your favourite authors?
My all-time favourites are Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I’ve been a huge fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld since I was 11 years old, and often attend events and conventions. Neil Gaiman I discovered later, but I am absolutely in love with his writing. My favourite of his books is The Graveyard Book.
Will you visit my school/city/country?
I would love to! Unfortunately there are only so many visits I can do in a year. This is partly because I am busy writing – it’s a lot of work to write a series of books. But also because I have a chronic illness (you can read more about that in my interview here) which means I find doing a lot of events very difficult. However, if you keep an eye on my News And Events page, you might find I am appearing somewhere near you soon. If you are a librarian/teacher/bookseller and would like to book me for an event, please get in touch and I will send you my info sheet.
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