New Author- Anna Shuttlewood!

We are thrilled to welcome Anna Shuttlewood as one of our newest authors here at CWLA! We sat down with Anna to learn a little more about her writing and inspiration.


1. How long have you been working on children’s books, as an illustrator, and as an author?

I started illustrating children’s books in 2012, and my first picture book – which was both written and illustrated by me – was published in 2013.


2. What inspired you to start writing your own children’s books?

I have always loved reading and collecting books (especially children’s books). Writing my own books is like a continuation of that love.
I suppose the moment it all started is when I had the pictures in my mind and realised I needed the words.


3. Do any of the stories you write come from your own experiences and memories of your childhood?

In some way they relate to my personality and some experiences; I think I would find it difficult to write about something I haven’t experienced in some way.
I like nature and animals; add a bit of naivety and humour to that and you won’t be far from the worlds I create.
One of the stories I’m working on relates to something that happened when I was little. One of my little doll’s dresses went down the drainpipe in the bathroom – and for years I looked over bridges, scanning the rivers for a frog who would be wearing it!


4. How do you make sure your stories are relatable to children? How do you get in the mindset of a child?

At the moment, my son gives me a good of insight at how a child’s mind work. It’s fascinating to see what children notice or how they understand the world. I also like to think I have quite good memory of how I felt as a child too.
When writing stories, I am also mindful that it is often adults who read picture books, so I like to make sure there is something for them too. I like to add the adult’s perspective sometimes.


5. Are there any overlapping skills have you noticed between illustrating and writing children’s books?

I find it very useful that I can work in both areas at the same time, as the illustrations can really help with the writing. Sometimes I find it useful to draw my character, to see the full extent of their personality. But in the end writing and illustrating are both different ways of telling a story and I’m just so lucky to be able to do both.


6. What do you enjoy most about being a children’s book author?

The best bit is the fact that you create characters who have this special existence, to experience it with them – and then to share it with others.


7. Are there any books that influence your writing?

I absolutely adore Winnie-the-Pooh. This is book has influenced my writing and also my illustration work.


8. Tell us about your writing routine. Where and when and how do you like to write?

I usually have pen and paper with me as the texts I’m working on are constantly in my head, so in a way I am working all the time – anywhere and everywhere! When everything has cleared in my mind I sit down and type it all up using my notes as reminders.


9. Are there any exciting projects you’re working on at the moment?

I have a long list of ideas in various stages that I am working on. At the moment I’m developing some picture books about two friends: a leopard and a zebra. I find them adorable and would be very pleased to be able to share them with everyone.


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.