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An Interview with Pamela Pottinger, author of The Sea and the Moon


Pamela lives and works in rural Cumbria. She is mother to three (fully fledged and succesful) home-educated boys, an asylum-seeking cat from the Calais Jungle, and multiple stray dogs. Her writing life began early when she won “most inventive story/essay” at primary school, which she based on a dream she’d had the night before about Martians sailing into the schoolyard to hand out grapes at lunchtime! Since then she has won several awards including Writing Magazine Winner of Winners with a ghost story set in a refugee camp. Her other works comprise of commissioned children’s fiction, short stories, general interest articles, a series of animal information pamphlets and a fair bit of blogging for a London pet store. At present she is concentrating more on personal projects and has recently had a children’s picture book accepted by independent publisher Chapeltown Books.

You can buy The Sea and the Moon here!

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I believe that education should first and foremost be fun, I brought my own children up largely on stories and plenty of play and it worked, proving there can be gain without pain! The ability to see the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary is a gift that I wanted to share. So l wrote this book not just for my grandchildren but all the other children out there who deserve more than a dreary fact…

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

Not many people know I can cut hair, bake bread, and cook, all to a professional standard.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The title of my book was easy, because it is what the book is about—the sea and the moon. I wrote my first draft sitting in a place called Secret Cove in South West Scotland. The tide was in, the stars were out, and the moonlight was rippling across the water…

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

Quite special.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

Whale song, seagulls, the sound of water rushing over pebbles, in fact I tinkered for a while with the idea of producing a soundtrack to go with the book but in the end it felt fine without it.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

If my book helps engender a sense of wonder, I shall be pleased.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Actually, my illustrator was a friend of my youngest child and spent a lot of time at our house during her childhood and many hours drawing and painting at our kitchen table. The fact that I was able to help her get her work out there—she’d had a lifelong dream of being an artist—felt pretty special.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I am currently going through a final edit of a YA novel I have written called Girl in a Silver Dress—it started life many years ago as a short story, and was inspired by a family photograph of a young glamorous woman stood on a stage wearing a slinky silver dress that I found tucked away in a book on my mother’s bookshelf—when I asked my mother who it was, she professed not to know! It was a puzzle that I had to solve.

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