Author Interview

Author Interview | Chrissie Ship | The Secret of the Old Willow Tree

The Secret of the Old Willow Tree and Other Stories by Chrissie Ship is a collection of short stories focused on imagination and creativity. This short book becomes an excellent gift for children as the four stories introduce them to much-needed wisdom.

In a conversation with Bookish Fame, Chrissie Ship talked about her book, her writing, her thoughts on being a debut author, and her future plans.

  • Please introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Chrissie Ship and although I was born in Birmingham, the second biggest city in England, I now live with my husband Ashley on the Suffolk Coast in the village of Pakefield.

  • When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

My career was in nursing and for many years. I was a Diabetes Specialist Sister, working in the hospital setting and the community. After I left nursing, I became a presenter on a local Community radio station and really enjoyed interviewing some people who were very well known and other people from ordinary walks of life, I believe that everyone has a story to tell!

  • What inspires you to write books? What are the things which catch your attention?

I never had any great aspiration to become an author, although over the years I have written poetry and the odd short story, but this is the first time I have submitted anything for publishing.

The Secret of the Old Willow Tree and Other Stories | Chrissie Ship | Book Review
The Secret of the Old Willow Tree and Other Stories | Chrissie Ship | Book Review

The idea for these stories came about when my husband and I were out walking one day and saw a tree with a fairy door carved into it. By the time we reached home I had decided to write a story for our youngest Grandchildren about the fairies who live there.

The stories tell how Olivia and Max discover the magic of make believe as they find a fairy house in the Old Willow Tree. They learn that the fairies have had a very busy time helping young children to feel safe during the pandemic, holding birthday parties, getting lost, making new friends and helping to save us from pirates.

Because our Grandchildren live almost 200 miles away, writing the stories gave me a chance to keep in touch with them in a different way and they loved receiving a story through the post. It was with my husband’s encouragement that I decided to submit the stories for publishing and so the book was born!

  • How do you think being a writer has helped you as a person?

I have certainly learned a lot since I embarked on this journey of becoming an author, I think my challenges throughout this process have become the challenge of the publishers, because I can only do the basics on the computer! I should mention here that ShieldCrest have been really helpful and patient!

  • Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I have always enjoyed reading and I prefer fiction to fact. I do enjoy novels but find I want to keep reading and am reluctant sometimes to put the book down, so short stories are my favorite. I like the style of writing of authors like Maeve Binchy, and Cecelia Ahern, but to be honest, when I’m going to buy a book I pick a random paragraph, read it and if I like it I buy the book regardless of who the author is, bizarre I know!

I also prefer books to e-books, I just like the feel of them.

  • Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers.

As a first time author, I’m probably not the best person to offer advice to other aspiring authors, but I would say this: I didn’t work hard when I went to Grammar school ( in fact I did as little as I possibly could!) and left without taking any exams.  I went into nursing in my late twenties and took an entrance exam to get in. I eventually became a nursing sister and in my forties had a day release to undertake a BSc (Hons) degree in Care and Education in the Community.

If you want something badly enough just go for it, the fact that you might not have attained anything before doesn’t mean you can’t go for it now. In fact when I did my degree I didn’t have a computer and except for my pilot study and dissertation, which had to be professionally typed, I did all my assignments on a borrowed typewriter with lots of tipex and wasted paper!

  • Are we going to hear more from you in the future?

Many years ago I went to London to see a producer because I had an idea for a sit com and he asked me to write some scenes for television and send them to him. Nothing ever came of that, but they were based on my experience as an older woman in the dating game! (My husband and I have only been married 13 years) and I have now started to write a book based on the scripts and the experiences. I also have some more stories about the fairies, so hopefully you will be hearing more from me in the not too distant future!

*We wish Author Chrissie Ship all the best for her future endeavors.*

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