Author Interview: Katie Abey
We are delighted to welcome Katie Abey as one of our newest authors here at CWLA! We sat down with Katie to learn a little more about her inspiration and creative process.
1. How long have you been working on children’s books, as an illustrator, and as an author?
I have been illustrating books since 2014.
Over time and as my confidence in my style grew, I found that a lot of my colourful illustrative characters would have a tone of voice and I had an urge to put written messages with them. I created an early years series of seek-and-find books, ‘We Wear Pants’ and ‘We Feel Happy’ which brought in the writing side of things a bit more.
And I’m now excited to word vomit more and explore the author side of my brain further.
2. What inspires you to create children’s stories?
Remembering that great escapism feeling of reading as a child.
We have a magical bricks-and-mortar shop in Matlock, Derbyshire called ‘Punnydukes’ which we created purely with that exact escapism feeling in mind.
It is an immersive shop designed to emulate escaping into a book but in real life! We have a Phoenix in there, a time machine (it works), and a Ford Anglia outside.
3. What themes are your favourite to write about?
I’m really passionate about encouraging people to truly accept all parts of themselves and realise that their ‘weirdness’ is where their power lies.
4. What is the best part about working on children’s books?
I essentially get to be a big kid forever, so that really. There is so much to be said for growing as a person and keeping your childhood spark shining.
Some people, they can be any age, still have that twinkly mischievous wonder in their eyes. The world needs more people twinkling away and connecting to their spark.
5. How do you make sure your story is relatable to children?
This certainly feels easier since becoming a mum and witnessing what is important to small people. Because it’s the weirdest things that give them a laugh and I think that’s brilliant.
6. Are there any books that influence your own books?
I love anything with dry humour in it. I love how Jon Klassen gets across a passive aggressiveness in his characters. I’m here for that.
7. Tell us about your creative routine. Where, when, and how do you like to create?
My desk is at our warehouse where we ship our online orders from so I work from there. But I do find the most creative ideas to come in the evenings so that’s often when I will be doodling my butt off when I’m home and my small human has succumbed to slumber.
8. What sparks your creativity?
Actually calving out time to exist! Which is tricky with a sassy 4-year-old and lots to do at work.
I’ve started a habit of having a nature wander every morning before my Violet awakens like the Kraken.
Having that quiet time to start the day works wonders for my introverted soul, but I do miss the days when I didn’t realise there was another 6 o’clock in the day.
9. Are there any exciting projects you’re working on at the moment?
Yes, I am working on a 2024 creative therapy planner at the moment, which is exciting.
It is a collaboration with some sparkly humans and will involve astrology.
So this planner will be able to tell you which days are good for manifesting your dreams and which days just to sack it off and not bother.
We are about to celebrate a year of The Room of Enchantment existing too.
This space was created with my friend Angela Sandland who has a background in all things mystical and esoteric.
Together we are Happiness Enchanters (sounds like we could be a band, right?!) and we hold creative and healing workshops and retreats for self-development in our magical space.
We have recently launched a subscription box too, called The Box of Brilliance. The first box has just landed with customers and we are getting ready to create the second.
Never a dull moment in this corner of the universe! Love it.
Caroline Wakeman Literary Agency focuses on picture and early chapter books. Based in London and New York City, we have a team of literary agents specializing in children’s books and young fiction. Our goal is to create engaging stories for young readers.