New Author Interview: Chris White

We are thrilled to welcome Chris White as one of our newest authors here at CWLA! Read more about Chris, his writing inspiration, and his process in our interview below.

1. How long have you been writing and illustrating children’s books?
My first book was ‘Bitey the Veggie Vampire and Other Poems’, published, appropriately enough, on October 31st, 2000. I was writing and illustrating for years before that, but Bitey was where things took off (with bat wings) for me.

2. What inspired you to start writing your own children’s books?
I’ve always been able to draw, and I’ve always loved doodling since I could pick up a crayon without dribbling on it, and I really wanted to be an illustrator when I grew up. Unfortunately, nobody would let me illustrate their work, so I thought ‘RIGHT! I’ll do it myself then!’ So, I started writing poems and short stories just to give me something to illustrate.

3. How do you make sure your stories are relatable to children?
I’m very lucky, in that I do an awful lot of school visits, library events, and book festival sessions, so I meet a lot of children. During the sessions and writing workshops we share lots of ideas and creative thoughts together, so that helps. Plus, I’m a big kid still. That helps too.

4. What do you enjoy most about being a children’s book author/illustrator?
I love the thrill of writing something and then performing it with a live audience. Instant critiques! Sometimes things don’t go as you imagined, in which case I scuttle off and rewrite it, but thankfully, most stuff brings with it the tremendous thrill of making audiences laugh, chuckle and clap. Putting smiles on people’s faces is always the absolute best thing you can do.

5. Do you have a favourite theme to write about?
Looking back on everything I’ve written over the years, I suppose being different, facing tricky challenges, and staying true to yourself, are the themes that mostly come to the surface. I guess that would also be my experience as an author too!

6. Are there any books that have influenced your writing?
I loved comics as a kid (still do!), and I think that special mixture of words and pictures really got my juices flowing. I try to read as many different styles of writing as I can. I’m always trying to learn!

7. Tell us about your writing routine – where / when / how do you like to write?
I’ve learnt to expect ideas at any time! I’m always ready to scribble thoughts down whenever they see fit to arrive. I can’t just sit down and switch it on, I have to let the ideas hatch when they are ready. That might be when you least expect it. I have a lot of ideas whilst out running which is always a problem as I have to try and remember them until I get home top scribble them down. Makes run faster I suppose! I also do a lot of school visits abroad, so there’s a lot of down time in hotels with not much to do but write. Many’s a time that I’ve come back from a few weeks in a far away place with most of a new story in a notebook.

8. Are you working on any exciting projects at the moment?
YES! But the projects are so exciting and top secret that I would have to destroy the device you are reading this on after seeing my answer.
Two words though. Graphic. Novels. There. I’ve said too much.
Your device will now self-destruct in 3…2…1…


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.