AMA about breaking boundaries through children’s stories.

Alice Clover
Jul 7, 2018

As a mum to two daughters, I have been focusing on writing stories that help build confidence in girls. My first story is about two sisters playing on the beach and working together to help each other. Future stories will be about long-term breastfeeding, farting and strong girls. Follow me on m.facebook.com/alice.clover.stories/?ref=bookmarks

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Do your children influence the stories you write or where do you get your inspiration?
Jul 13, 8:39PM EDT0

Hi Daniela, thanks for asking a question. My daughters inspire me everyday but I also get my inspiration from other children or something I’ve seen or a place I’ve been. I’ve got so many ideas in my head at the moment. 

Jul 14, 6:15PM EDT0
Is your target audience children only or is your style of writing something adults would appreciate as well?
Jul 13, 3:06PM EDT0

Hi Mirjana, thank you for asking me a question. I think my Florence and Grace can be enjoyed by adults as well as children but I have written stories which adults would enjoy more. I’ve written a toilet training story, which is rhyming and laugh out loud. I’ve also written a story called Girls Love to Fart and I’m hoping that’ll be ready in time for Christmas. 

Jul 13, 5:56PM EDT0
Do you think parents are steering children more towards electronics instead of books? What would your advise be to parents who do this?
Jul 13, 2:18PM EDT0

Hi Cieloesteron, thanks for asking me a question. We are all somewhat drawn to electronics but I would say that many parents still prefer their child to read paper books and many of the parents I know have bookshelf’s full of books. 

Jul 13, 5:51PM EDT0
What do you think about hiring writers to write books based on ideas of someone else? Is this something you would do if you get too busy to write the books yourself?
Jul 13, 1:32PM EDT0

Hi Kedioskav,  thanks for asking me a question. I would consider it if I ever made enough money to pay someone. I have loads of ideas at the moment and am writing daily. It’s likely that I’ll need more help in the future. 

Jul 13, 5:47PM EDT0
Is your writing your own way of empowering young women in the making?
Jul 10, 5:43AM EDT0

Hi Numany, thank you for your question. Yes, my writing is my own way of empowering young women or girls because I’m aiming to reach out to them whilst they are still children, around 5-8 years. I feel that we need to start changing the way society behaves towards women and girls. 

Jul 10, 8:13AM EDT0
Would you ever delve into another writing genre? If yes, what would it be?
Jul 9, 9:59PM EDT0

Hi Jason, thank you for your question. I would like to write detective fiction and have had a character in mind for quite a while now. Once my romance is done I might try and make a start on that. 

Jul 10, 8:10AM EDT0
What is the best feedback you've got for one of your books?
Jul 9, 8:37PM EDT0

Hi Jahan, thanks for your question. The best feedback I’ve had is from the children themselves. They will be absolutely honest about whether they enjoy what I write or not. I haven’t particularly had any constructive feed back as of yet because they book is still so unknown. I’m hoping it’ll pick up soon though. 

Jul 10, 8:09AM EDT0
Why do you feel that girls need to have more confidence than boys? Are you saying that they are less confident by nature?
Jul 9, 8:09PM EDT0

Hi Aleksanda, thanks for your question. Girls have always been encouraged to be sweet and subservient by society but they are just as capable of doing the more adventurous things that boys do. They fart, burp, make funny noises and do all the things that are far more acceptable amongst boys. I feel like we need to build up their confidence so they can stand up for themselves and not be treated at second class citizens or as weak human beings. Girls are strong and should embrace their strengths. I don’t think they need to have more confidence than boys, they just need to recognise that they can achieve to their full potential. 

Jul 10, 7:55AM EDT0
What does the market for children’s books look like today?
Jul 9, 6:35AM EDT0

Hi Sagar, thanks for your question. The market is bright and colourful with vivid characters. It’s also move more towards equality and diversity, which I’m aiming to write about more of in the future. 

Jul 9, 11:04AM EDT0
Who are your daughters’ favorite children’s authors and books?
Jul 9, 3:21AM EDT0

Hi Nomedz, thanks for asking me a question. They both like Julia Donaldson and Beatrix Potter. Florence particularly likes a story called the Quangle Wangle Tree, which was written in the early 80’s and is about all sorts of made up animals going to live on a ginormous hat in the Quangle Wangle Tree. 

Jul 9, 4:24AM EDT0
When you write, do you try to do it without expressing your own opinions?
Jul 8, 11:12PM EDT0

Hi Linda, thank you for your question. I do try to be impartial, yes. With the Florence and Grace series it’s all about them anyway. The characters have come into their own in my romance so I haven’t had a chance to get my opinion in! 😂. I have written some stories from an opinionated perspective though. 

Jul 9, 4:28AM EDT0
How do you keep in touch with the children’s perspective when writing?
Jul 8, 10:42AM EDT0

Hi MPOP, thanks for asking me a question. Well, I have two young children, lots of friends with children, nieces and nephews so as a result I do plenty of reading and story telling. I find out what engages children, so know a lot about what they like and dislike. I have written some funny children’s stories, which will be available soon. 

Jul 8, 12:36PM EDT0
What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Jul 7, 7:59PM EDT0

Hi Dejan, thanks for your question. I found it hard finding the time to sit down and write because when I started the girls were one and three so left me little time or energy to do anything but I was determined to write and get the stories in my head out into the world. Gaining the much needed confidence to write my book was tricky but now I have written seventeen Florence and Grace stories with the front covers done for the next two. 

Jul 8, 3:38AM EDT0
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Jul 7, 6:10PM EDT0

Hi Ranaxp, thanks for asking me a question. I think it has changed my process of writing. I have written some quite different style stories as a result of publishing because I feel as though I have surpassed my first goal already. I also dedicate more time to my writing now and have one day off a week from the girls so I can work on what I love doing. 

Jul 8, 3:42AM EDT0
What process did you go through to get your books published?
Jul 7, 4:51PM EDT0

Hi Mewan, Thank you for question. We decided to self publish on Amazon, where the book is available to purchase. 

Jul 7, 5:38PM EDT0
Are Florence and Grace molded after your own daughters or are they 100% fictional characters? How was your creative process to bring them to life?
Jul 7, 1:18PM EDT0

Hi Koushick, thanks for your question. Florence and Grace are based on my daughters but they are drawn from Cheryl’s own imagination and are caricatures of the girls. 

Jul 7, 3:36PM EDT0
How has your own life experiences impacted the writing of your books?
Jul 7, 2:19AM EDT0

Hi Tusher, thanks for asking a question. I have written two poems about breastfeeding beyond the age of 1 year as I am an advocate for extended natural term feeding. I have also been writing a romance and some of the characters are familar to me but in fictional form. Also, I wanted to write about the girls because I wanted to capture these moments in time and look back on them with fond memories. 

Jul 7, 3:39AM EDT0
What is it that interests you about oral history and do you have any upcoming formal projects regarding this interest?
Jul 6, 6:27PM EDT0

Hi Scott, thanks for your question. I find oral history fascinating and want to keep the memories alive of people for future generations to enjoy. The world has changed beyond recognition for some people and I like talking to them about what life was like before the benefits of modern technology and life styles. I am currently writing a romance which is set at the start of WW2. I have researched the history of that time through reading and talking to people who still remember. 

Jul 7, 3:33AM EDT0
To what extent are the stories you write both for and about your daughters?
Jul 6, 5:27PM EDT0

Hi Melvinnaidu, thanks for asking a question. The Florence and Grace series is all about the girls. They’re based on things we’ve done or seen but I’ve elaborated to make them more fun to read. 

Jul 7, 3:34AM EDT0
Why do you enjoy working alongside your illustrator? What are the facets of your professional relationship that make the collaboration fun?
Jul 6, 4:40PM EDT0

Hi Parvez, thanks for asking me a question. We have a similar sense of humour and have other things in common outside of work. We always start off our meetings chatting about what we’ve been up too and have a fantastic rapour. We keep in regular contact and never put any pressure on each other. It’s a pleasure working alongside Cheryl. 

Jul 6, 4:56PM EDT0
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