What Inspires You?

Have you ever wondered where authors get their inspiration from? Inspiration can be hard to find and sometimes comes from the most unexpected places. We asked the CWLA children’s book authors where they find the inspiration for their beautiful stories and are thrilled to share some of their answers!

Lou Treleaven: “Having fun with words, creating new worlds and characters, and adventuring in the imagination is what inspires me. Our brains are amazing in that we don’t need to do something in order to feel like we are experiencing it. We can literally do anything within our minds just by reading a book. How awesome is that?”

Rachel Hurd-Wood: “It depends on the subject. I think I’m the funniest when I am in a bad mood but for lighter topics, thinking about someone I love helps me find the right tone.” 

Sue Downing: “I’m drawn to anything that is quirky, humorous, and minimal in design. I hope that is reflected in both my illustrations and writing. For me illustrating and writing go together and one informs the other. Dela said No! was inspired by the Greek Myth Leda and the Swan, and the idea for The Day Mom Joined the Circus came from an article on Woman’s Hour about women and housework.”

Garry Dix: “My family inspires me. I couldn’t have even started this without their support. As I tell kids when I visit schools, creativity is like a tap, once you figure out how to open it, ideas can come from anywhere. Knowing that I am now a part of kids’ reading journeys, just like my favourite authors were part of mine, is a huge motivator, and so rewarding. Authors that have inspired my work and writing process are Roald Dahl, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, and Simon Furman.”

Sally Garland: “Everyday observation of children inspires me. Most of my stories have been triggered by the small incidents or conversations by children I have either observed or overheard.”

Duba Kolanovic: “I always find my inspiration in real life. As a mother of three kids, I have the opportunity to live many different stories each day. I also love travelling and have joined volunteering expeditions in conservation all over the world. My experiences from visiting pristine parts of the world such as the Arctic, Antarctica, Amazon rainforest, Borneo rainforest, African savannah, remote coral reefs, and deserts are an endless source of inspiration for my work. I am looking forward to my next magic adventure, visiting the Arctic and searching for polar bears and other amazing wildlife.”

Kate Aasa: “My two sons inspire me every day. They have so much wonder at the world as they learn to navigate through it. Their reflections and the joy they take from every day really inspires my writing.”

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.