Author Interview and Book Review with Greta Yorke
This month, I have invited Scottish Author Greta Yorke along to Kids Carousel to tell us about her books and writing career.
Thank you for joining us Greta, please tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey.
My first adventure into was with poetry which was published in church magazine, then I became a member of Ayr Writers’ Club.
I was teaching 5 year olds at the time and I won a little knitted witch in a school raffle. It was so lovely I asked the lady who knitted it if she would knot me 10 little witches which I would use as a number resource in the classroom.
The lady kindly knitted the witches and when they arrived, they were all different colours. What a super teaching resource! I was inspired to write a story about the witches including number, colours, repetition and recall. This story, Witch Hitch, won the Under 7s category at the Scottish Association of Writers’ Conference in 2010. I tried submitting the story to various traditional publishers but unfortunately had no success.
My daughter always told me not to give up, she said if I had faith in the story I should persevere.
Sadly, my daughter passed away in 2012 leaving me a small legacy. I knew exactly what to do with this, I self-published the story.
The book was successful and I published another story, The Woo in the Wild Woods, which is out of print now. The witches had been so popular people told me to write more about them, this prompted the Tartan Witch story which is told in Scots and English. A third witches’ story has now been published with much success, Tartan Witch and the Highland Escapade.
When the terrible pollution in our seas was identified, I wrote ‘How the Pirates Turned the Tide’ which addresses the pollution issue, healthy eating and sustainability.
‘Elbo the Elf’ story tells of one of Santa’s elves who spends too much time playing electronic games. Needless to say, he learns a lesson.
During Covid lockdown I completed my children’s middle grade novel, In the Dark, a story which explores many issues facing young people.
I have just returned from the Scottish Association of Writers’ annual conference where my latest story, The Prickle Picker, was placed first in the Under 7s category.
I am a member of LiterEight, 8 Ayrshire-based women, and we are about to publish our fifth anthology of poetry and short stories.
I find inspiration all around, especially from Nature. I talk a lot to my grandchildren and those children I meet at school or library visits and appreciate the interaction in follow-up activities after readings.
Life as an author certainly occupies my time in retirement. As a self-publisher I have to keep on top of orders, marketing, promotions, selling, tax returns and writing of course!
My books are available from various local outlets, independent book shops, Amazon UK and of course direct from me. firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @greta_yorke and on Facebook, Greta Yorke Author.
I enjoy presenting knowledge to children in a fun way and I follow my dreams.
And now, in keeping with this month’s theme of sailing, Kids Carousel is delighted to be reviewing on e of Greta’s picture books…
How the Pirates Turned the Tide
Written by Greta Yorke
Illustrated by Maggie Bolton
Published by Mags2publishing.uk
For ages 5 – 7 years
When your gran zooms around the countryside on a silver scooter, you know there’s going to be far more to a picnic by the sea than sandwiches and sandcastles.
After eating their picnic, Gran spies rowing boats and decides to sail out to sea. Stopping to rest, she and her grandson close their eyes and enjoy the peace as the boat rocks back and forth in the water.
But they are soon awakened by a loud roar and open their eyes to discover a pirate ship towering above them. Instead of rowing to safety, Gran leads the way as they climb aboard.
They find Captain Black and his men tired, hungry, and surrounded by litter. Instead of being frightened, Gran marches up to Captain Black and orders him and his men to clean the ship. And, while her grandson helps the pirates, Gran cooks them a healthy curry.
The pirate ship is scrubbed clean, laundry washed, and beds changed, just in time for a plate of healthy curry and a bedtime story.
The next day, Gran and the pirates go ashore to buy fresh fruit and vegetables before returning to build circuit stations for exercise in the afternoon and plant vegetable seeds.
And when Gran discovers that Deadeye Dan follows the pirates and raids their ship for food, she helps the pirates realise that with healthy food, plenty of exercise and a good night’s sleep, they are strong enough to protect their ship and keep Deadeye Dan away.
How the Pirates Turned the Tide is a beautifully illustrated picture book that manages to pack quite a punch into its twenty-four pages.
With delightfully detailed illustrations that will captivate any age, the healthy undertones throughout the story promote the importance of healthy eating, exercise, and a good night’s sleep.
The book touches on sustainability and the importance of keeping our seas pollution free. And, although first published in 2018, this is a timeless story that manages to subtly intermingle a child’s love of pirates with a passion for a healthy lifestyle and the importance of looking after the planet.
A picture book packed full of adventure and fun with a healthy dose of positive messages to boot. What’s not to like!
How the Pirates Turned the Tide is available in paperback and has an RRP of £7.99.