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Interview: Emmy Clarke


A photograph of Little Thoughts Press Issue Four: Autumnatopoeia with a sneak peek of the story "The Autumn Vixen" by Emmy Clarke. A white page with black text with a banner of orange leaves at the top.

 

Emmy Clarke is a children's writer and poet from Manchester, England. Their first story for children, "Vampire Hunter Jess" was featured in Tales of the Bold, the Brave and the Beautiful, an anthology produced by Stories of Care.

 

Little Thoughts Press: Your story, "Autumn Vixen" is about the magic and awe of the reader encountering a vixen and her kits while out walking through the woods. Can you tell us about the inspiration for this story and how you chose to use onomatopoeia to enhance the storytelling?


Emmy Clarke: I've always liked writing about ordinary situations and sprinkling a bit of magic into them. I think everyday occurrences are inherently very magical. "The Autumn Vixen" is inspired by an experience I had when I was younger, one lonely October afternoon. I was walking (like the reader in the story) to the park, when I saw a fox crossing by an old farm house. I'm not a person who is particularly prone to gasping, but something about seeing her trot through the autumn leaves made me breathe in so sharply she turned to look at me. It was a very magical moment.



Little Thoughts Press: Issue 4: Autumnatopoeia celebrates the sounds of the fall season. What is your favorite onomatopoeia? And what is your favorite thing about autumn?


Emmy Clarke: "Meow!" My partner and I have two naughty tabby kittens, Toast and Parsley. They keep jumping inside the kitchen bin. It's driving us nuts! But I can't stay mad at them because their mischievous little mews always make me smile. They also don't mind being put in silly costumes, which is an ideal quality for a cat to have. We dressed them both up as bats to show the trick-or-treaters this year. Which neatly brings me to my favourite thing about autumn... Halloween!!



Little Thoughts Press: What initially drew you to writing kid-lit and what do you find most challenging and rewarding about writing for a young audience?


Emmy Clarke: Since becoming a "grown-up" I've made it my mission to live life in a way that kid-me would think was the coolest. I carry this into my writing. I write for myself, as a kid, and what I wanted to read. Because of this, I don't necessarily find writing for a young audience to be challenging. The industry can be difficult at times, particularly for disabled and neurodivergent creatives like me. But overall, I've found the actual act of writing very enjoyable, and the awesome people I've met along the way have made any difficulties worth it, 100%.


One of my favourite writing moments of 2022 was when I was invited to read my short story "Vampire Hunter Jess" at my childhood local library for their pride celebrations. This was my first public reading and I had a fabulous, engaged kid audience. I loved every moment!



Little Thoughts Press: Which kid-lit authors and books were your favorites growing up?


Emmy Clarke: I loved (and still love) Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. I was so invested in its world, its characters, and its creatures and mythos. There's a sequel series now, and I love that too!! In a similar vein, I also loved Robin Jarvis's Deptford Mice series. I'm still waiting on that final installment of the Deptford Histories!



Little Thoughts Press: And what about today? Any kid-lit writers you love and want to shout out?


Emmy Clarke: So many. Particularly I want to shout out Elle McNicholl's Like A Charm (urban fantasy with neurodivergent protagonist) and Maggie Horne's Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One (contemporary fiction with a lesbian protagonist). Both excellent middle grades that I just couldn't put down.



Little Thoughts Press: What advice would you give to young writers?


Emmy Clarke: Read what you love, write what you love. What you love is cool as heck and so are you.



Little Thoughts Press: Is there anything else you wish I had asked? Any upcoming projects, publications, or other news you'd like to share?


Emmy Clarke: Two things!


  • I also have a short story, "Floorboard Fairies," in the January 2023 issue of Storytime Magazine.

  • I'm the Founder of Changeling Annual - an upcoming collection of children's fiction, poetry and art, all by neurodivergent creatives! Our debut collection will be published in Spring 2023.











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