The Clockwork Crow is your first title aimed at a younger readership. What made you decide to write for this age group?
I have actually written for this age group before, but certainly my more recent books have been Young Adult. It was a great delight to return to a younger readership, and have fun with Seren and the Crow. It’s a faster, less complex sort of story, a different way of telling a tale.
You were previously appointed the inaugural Young Person’s Laureate for Wales. How did you enjoy this role and did you achieve all you planned in your time in ‘office’?
It was a great honour to be the first Young People’s Laureate for Wales. Wales has had fine children’s writers in the past and many new writers are working here now. Establishing something like the Laureateship was well overdue, as children’s books are often not given the status they deserve. I enjoyed the events I attended and met many writers and readers throughout Wales.
What writing advice would you share with any aspiring writers looking for a career as an author?
Read everything, write what you enjoy, make your characters interesting and strange, your settings memorable and your villains enigmatic. Use the brightest, sharpest language you can. Don’t give up, but don’t expect to become rich.
In your work you have used elements of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Welsh Mythology … do you have a favourite?
Welsh, of course. The stories of the Mabinogi and the Welsh Arthurian tales are endlessly fascinating. I also love Irish myth – both have a similar, raw, archaic quality. Norse myth is another deep interest, but I like all sorts of folk tales, legends and odd tales. They can be investigated and re-worked, and they deal with the deepest human themes and emotions.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
It’s top secret! But I am developing a new Young Adult novel set in an alternate 19th century world. I can’t really say anything more about it at present, but watch this space…
Catherine Fisher is an acclaimed poet and children’s author who lives in Newport, Wales. Her bestselling books include The Snow-Walker trilogy, the Oracle trilogy, the Incarceron series and the Chronoptika series. Catherine was Wales’ first Young People’s Laureate (2011-2013) and has won a number of awards for her work. www.catherine-fisher.com
The Clockwork Crow will be published by Firefly Press on 4th October 2018.