I have great pleasure in sharing my interview with fellow campervan and Leeds United fan, James Kellett, author of Dub! James talks about writing for children, collaborating with his wife, and a passion for great coffee.
Over to James…
James Kellett is a children’s book author who teams up with his wife Alice Kellett to make illustrated picture books. James and Alice can often be found taking their 3 young children on adventures in their campervan.
1. Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
Most of my writing has been in the form of song writing, I’ve written in excess of 100 songs. Most of them for myself, but also for a time I was taking commissions and even wrote a jingle for a drain unblocker!
Outside of writing, I run a coffee shop called ‘Canvas & Coffee’. We specialise in Belgian waffles, and we pride ourselves on our great coffee. www.canvasandcoffee.uk
2. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
This is my first book, it’s been a project that I’ve been working on with my wife for around four years. When the pandemic came around, it meant that I had to close my coffee shop, which enabled us to give this project the attention it deserved.
3. What genre is it, and what is it about?
It is an adventure story for young children, ages 1-6. It is about a campervan shaped keyring who comes to life and embarks on an adventure. His journey covers the joys and pitfalls of travelling whilst exploring themes of friendship, kindness and positivity.
4. What or who inspired you to write this book?
My wife, Alice, inspired me to write this book. Alice (who illustrated this book) is obsessed with campervans and runs a business which specialises in painting pictures of them. She introduced me to the world of campervans, and I saw great potential in the idea of a campervan keyring character.
Sometimes when you are a parent, life can be so busy that the only books you get to read are children’s books at night as a bedtime story. They become quite an important part of the day, something you can look forward to at night and connect with your children. Always a lot of fun, you can get into character and you can go back to the same ones over and over again. Which you don’t necessarily do with adult books. They are more like songs in a way because you can keep listening to them again and again.
5. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Commit to a project and try to let go of any nagging doubts you have.
6. What do you enjoy most about writing and why?
I love that the only restrictions are your own imagination. Almost anything you do in life there are barriers in the way, so it’s refreshing to not have that. Our book has just been released and we’re starting to get lots of messages from parents saying that their children love the book, this is very rewarding and makes it all feel worthwhile.
7. List three interesting facts about yourself
- I have 3 awesome children; Isla, Jonah & Casper. All aged 5 and under!
- I make the best waffles in the East Midlands (unofficially)
- I used to own a cocktail bar
8. What is your least favourite part of the publishing/writing process?
Waiting for people to do the jobs that I can’t do myself. I really just want to write the story and get it out there, but there’s so many other steps to go through. But it’s all part of the process.
9. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
You can buy our book from our website https://www.prettysplitty.com/product/dub-book/ and recommend it to those you know who have young children.
10. What is your next project?
Dub: A Campervan Adventure is the first in a series of books involving the character. Work has already started on his second adventure, hopefully we can finish it without the need for a global pandemic!
‘Dub: A Campervan Adventure’, is a warm and funny story involving Dub, a campervan shaped keyring who comes to life and embarks on an adventure. His journey covers the joys and pitfalls of travelling whilst exploring themes of friendship, kindness and positivity. Young children will love joining Dub on his journey as he meets a cast of interesting characters.
BUY your copy of Dub! from the Pretty Splitty shop online: https://www.prettysplitty.com/shop/