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Written by JJ Barnes

I am delighted to share my interview with children’s book writer Kieshia Chun about her latest book, Peter The Picky Polar Bear. She talks about her experiences with creating the story, her plans for the future, and shares advice for aspiring writers.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

I’m a 37-year old mum of four boys, from Weston-super-Mare. We live with our Romanian rescue dog and four cats.

I’m also a Whitney Houston tribute!

When did you first WANT to write a book?

I’ve been amateur writing since childhood, but I write my first book as an adult back in 2015.

Kieshia Chun, author of Peter The Picky Polar Bear
Kieshia Chun, author of Peter The Picky Polar Bear

When did you take a step to start writing?

I took the step at the same time that I decided I wanted to write, it was very immediate. I had an idea in my head one day, and I ran with it.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

It took me 5-years from my iPhone notes to published book. I think my negative self put me off of doing anything about it sooner. That, and life changes.

How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?

It will have  taken about 8-months this time around. I’m in a role!

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Peter The Picky Polar Bear?

I was at my partner’s house, and he said, “I’ve got a character for a book!” He said the word, and it set something off in my brain! I wrote the book in about half an hour.

What were your biggest challenges with writing Peter The Picky Polar Bear?

I wouldn’t say I had issues with writing it, it was pretty organic, but I had some trademark hiccups with the original word that I wanted to use. Since changing it, everything seems to be going well.

Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?

The main and only  character – My imagination! Sometimes, my ideas just come from nowhere.

Did you plot Peter The Picky Polar Bear in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?

I’m quite the panster with my writing, I often fly by the seat of my pants! Although I’m working on a romance novel (which I find so much harder) and although I start writing freely, I find that as the story progresses and I get to know my characters, I need more structure and plan going forward.

Peter The Picky Polar Bear by Kieshia Chun
Peter The Picky Polar Bear by Kieshia Chun

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Peter The Picky Polar Bear need?

Yes, I hired an editor. There wasn’t much to change though, which I’m proud of.

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?

Just write. Don’t think about the how’s and where’s of how to publish a book. Get it out and onto paper first, and then let it breathe for a week or so before you revisit it and make any changes. It’s surprising how differently you read it the second time around.

The #1 Writing Tool

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

I have a few! I decided to make ‘Peter the Picky Polar Bear’ a series of books to address children’s worries and fears, so I’ll be releasing one book a year for this. The next is expected at the end of the year, and it’s about learning to swim. My next book after that is a rhyming book about a teasing snake, called ‘Sydney the Silly Snake,’ which just won an illustration grant with Authorpreneur Central, which I’m very proud of. It’s due out next summer 2022.

And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

Absolutely! I want to show my children that they can do anything they put their minds to. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college or university, and I was lost for a long time throughout my adulthood up until about 2016. To have a debut book win a Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon Award is amazing, and I’m very proud of it. I adore seeing children’s faces when they read my book, and I love hearing from parents when they tell me that their little one has eaten a new food, thanks to my book. It’s the best feeling. I hope all my books have the ability to bring happiness into people’s homes.

Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:

Peter the Picky Polar Bear –released  Dec 2020

Have You Ever Seen a Dogahogahippodile? – due summer 2021

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