Blog: This Writing Life

Stories...Creativity...Connection

  • Melissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - CHARLOTTE OFFSAY

I'm delighted to feature my friend Charlotte Offsay on the blog today. Charlotte has three books releasing over the next few years, including her debut picture book, THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP, illustrated by Katie Rewse. I loved learning that Charlotte's family inspired the book's theme of working together to make the world a better place. Read on for her thoughts about stories . . . creativity . . . and connection. Welcome, Charlotte!


1) STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects. Thank you for hosting me on your blog today Melissa!





My stories generally come from the things that take up the most room in my heart. Whatever I am consumed with my life in any particular moment I try to channel onto the written page through the eyes of a child. For example, when I first began dreaming up what would eventually become my debut picture book, The Big Beach Cleanup, my children were small, and I was consumed with all the things in the world that I wished I could change and make better for them.





I wanted to encourage them to be the change they want to see in the world and let them know that if they join hands with enough people that they can make a difference. That idea of small hands creating big change was the core inspiration for The Big Beach Cleanup.






Another example is my second picture book releasing in September from Beaming books, How to Return a Monster. It is a humorous how to story of one child attempting to return their new baby sibling. It stems from my concerns at the time of how my daughter would feel about her new baby brother.


2) CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?


I tend to express my creative side through my writing. I love to play with word choices and story structure in particular. For example, I have recently written a couple of new manuscripts in rhyme and another in a cumulative structure emphasizing alliteration. My ideas tend to come from my daily life and my two young children who are an endless supply of story ideas.


3) CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community? At the moment I am staying connected to young readers through virtual school visits. I look forward to being able to connect with them in person again one day soon! Pandemic aside, I am generally around children constantly through my two young children and my volunteer work in our community and at their schools.


I am quite active on social media and like to stay connected to the KidLit community through my various social media accounts. For example, I have connected with a lot of other book lovers via my Instagram account @picturebookrecommendations where I review recently published picture books. I am also in regular contact with my critique partners and chat with them via phone or zoom.




CHARLOTTE'S BIO:





CHARLOTTE OFFSAY was born in England, grew up in Boston, and currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two small children. Through her work, Charlotte hopes to make children laugh, to inspire curiosity, and to create a magical world her readers can lose themselves in time and time again. Her debut, The Big Beach Cleanup, will be published by Albert Whitman in spring 2021, followed by How to Return a Monster in fall 2021 from Beaming Books. A Grandma’s Magic, illustrated by Asa Gilland, will be published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers in Spring 2022.



CONNECT WITH CHARLOTTE:

Learn more about Charlotte's work at charlotteoffsay.com and follow her on Twitter at @coffsay and on Instagram at @picturebookrecommendations.

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