Friday, 8 June 2012

Write About What You Know By Lynne Garner

When I first started writing I was advised to write about what I knew. This was why I started writing non-fiction. But I'd always wanted to write fiction, I didn't know where to start. So I found myself still writing about what I knew. For example my first picture book A Book For Bramble was based on my work rescuing hedgehogs (if interested check out my hedgehog blog: The Hedgehog Shed).

Today I still find myself writing books based on what I know. For example my latest picture eBook Captain and Nugget (Amazon UK or Amazon US) uses many of my experiences with the dogs I've been lucky enough to share my life with.

For example not wanting to go for a walk is based upon our previous dog Jodi. Who in old age would  be happy just walking around the car parked on the drive. Great when it was cold and miserable but when the sun was shining I'd often want to go a little further. But it was her walk so she was in charge.


    Jodi's passion for stealing underwear, especially socks (clean and dirty) appears in my picture book app Puppy, Why Do I Love You? 

    As well as drawing on Jodi's habits for this title I also used a few habits my current canine friend, Tasha has. Including:
    • Chasing things
    • Taking up the entire settee
    • Leaving muddy paw prints all over the place  


    My picture book Dog Did It was inspired by all my dogs and their habit of embarrassing you in front of company. When we are forced to utter those words, "sorry that wasn't me. The dog did it!"

    However I'm pleased to announce I feel I may be growing as an author. Because the story I'm working on at the moment does include a dog but it doesn't draw on previous knowledge or experience. You see it features a ghost dog and I've never experienced that!

    To end this post I just want to ask what experiences have you used in your books? Go on spill the beans, I'd love to know.


    1. My picture book Smile,Baby, Smile ends with the payoff of the baby finally burping and so being happy, at last. My son would hate to know I said it, but his amazing baby windiness probably fed into that story!

    2. Thanks for sharing - I won't tell your son you did.

    3. Most of my picture books were inspired by observations of my children. But now they've grown up and there are no grandchildren, yet! Perhaps I need to borrow some children...

    4. I loved writing Gilbert the Hero - it's based on how my oldest son reacted when his baby brother was born. I'd say all of my picture books, even the silly ones, have something of my family (dogs included) in them - and I've used difficult experiences as well as happy ones.

    5. Hi there - my wee three year old daughter has worn glasses since she was two and they keep falling off. Sometimes she gets in a muddle. She has a wee bear called 'wee bear' which used to be mine until it was snatched in a midnight raid. Somehow all this must have stirred around in my brain - and I have written Cuddle Muddle - an ebook about a Wee Panda Bear who loses her glasses and cuddles all sorts of things! When I used to write for kids tv I drew on pretty much every childhood experience, and I could put things in that I wish had happened, like a ballerina spinning on the back of a galloping horse! All good fun. Btw this site is excellent - so colourful, informative and full of writers who seem to love what they do :)

    6. Glad you like the site, Alan. Cuddle Muddle sounds like fun!