As 2017 kicks off we are delighted to have International award-winning children’s author CL Bennett, creator of the ‘Bugglepuff’ series with Lulu publishing, join us as a regular guest blogger. Over the forthcoming weeks CL will be sharing insights and tips on writing and publishing with us. If you have any specific questions for her please contact us as CL has also kindly agreed to be our agony aunt blogger! If you are interested in joining our author guest bloggers please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org as we would love to hear from you.
CL Bennett has already sold 1000’s of books online, gone on UK book tours, started Bugglepuff ‘fun days’ in 100’s of schools and libraries around the country, made audio recordings of her books with the famous actor Brian Blessed OBE and won children’s books awards in both the USA and Europe. For those of you keen to read the series these can be purchased direct from our online bookshop.
Taking 5 minutes out of her hectic schedule between writing and travelling she spoke to us about the magical world of the Bugglepuff series.
Hi CL ! So, would you mind telling us what the Bugglepuff series is about?
Jungle bedrooms, pirate treasure maps, a chocolate bath, little people with flying boots, a crazy parrot and a Magic Key can all be found in the first of a series of books about the Bugglepuff family.
Captain Bugglepuff, his mad wife Delirious and their four rascally children Anenome, Compass, Rocky and Seasea live a haphazard day to day family life in a little English fishing port in Devon, until the arrival of a mysterious crisp white letter in the post. Nothing in the Bugglepuff’s lives after this letter will ever be the same again.
It takes the Bugglepuff family to a new home by an enchanted creek that leads to a fantastical adventure in a world of magic where dreams can come true. But the family must be careful. Temptations takes the Bugglepuff children and their extraordinary animals on a series of dangerous quests for which the price of failure will break the family apart and the world as we know it!
Why did you start to write?
My family was the inspiration behind my award-winning book series ‘Bugglepuffs and the Magic Key’ and newly published through Lulu, ‘Bugglepuffs and the Magic Quest – PART 1’. My four hilarious children’s day to day dramas growing up gave me so many scrumptious stories, that after several years and a lot of persuasion from friends and family I felt it was time to put pen to paper and bring them to life in an animated adventure.
It’s the drama and excitement I can create as an author putting my family into the world of the Bugglepuffs which is an absolute joy and delight. What will they do next? Who will play the lead role? Sometimes if one of my children does something naughty at home I make them do something terribly silly in the book to make me laugh!
What inspired you to write a children’s book in particular?
The natural choice was to write a children’s book that my own children could read for six to eleven-year-old boys and girls. But I think the whole family would enjoy the series and can laugh at the Bugglepuff family’s daily chaos and sometimes the dream of escaping to a new life full of magic and wonder! Heartily I wanted to write books to create tremendous worldwide fun and to send sparkles into the imaginations of children. If I can achieve a sprinkling of this, that would be gloriously special!
Where did the tremendous word ‘Bugglepuffs’ come from?
I was travelling home from school with the children last spring and I said to them, “Well if I’m going to write a book I need a name for the family. Our surname is Bennett so I think it should start with a B.” “a B,” they all said then ‘splat’ a bug hit our windscreen. ‘Bug,’ shouted my youngest son, they all laughed, followed by my oldest daughter replying, ‘Buggle’ and then my youngest daughter roared with giggles and screamed, “puff, puff puff.” At that moment, I nearly went into the hedge as I realised the animated family name had been born. That was the start of the ‘Bugglepuffs.
We hear that the character ‘Delirious Bugglepuff’ is based on yourself? What is the silliest thing that has ever happened to you?
Well there are many silly moments but I guess probably the funniest was when my kids were very young. I was very tired with sleepless nights and crying babies and I was ferociously late for school. I’d been folding up the washing and then raced out the door with pram in toe and whizzed up to school. I got to school with five minutes’ spare in a frazzled state but happy I’d made it on time. Suddenly I heard a laugh, followed by another laugh and another and I didn’t know what my friends were pointing at. I looked around then realised they were pointing at me, at my hair. In my rush to get to school I had left a fresh pair of twizzled up knickers in my hair. It was my most deliriously silly moment as a mum to date but one I’ll always happily remember and giggle about!
What makes creative writing so exciting for you and what else inspires you?
Oh, where to begin with this one! Creative writing is like having a canvas in front of me and putting hundreds of colours together through writing. My pen is like a paint brush. I want every child and every adult to see, touch, hear, smell and taste the magical world of the Bugglepuffs and travel excitedly on the adventure series with me.
Children are my inspiration and not in a corny way. They have the most sharp, unreserved minds and come out with such genuine and inspiring suggestions when you least expect it! This has led me to starting ‘Bugglepuff Fun Days’ in primary schools and it’s been like sitting in a bath of delicious ice cream! I love animating the children with creative writing, the joy of reading and the delights of dream bedrooms and chocolate doors. Taking their minds into a world of adventure is so much fun! For older children, I talk about my writing and publishing experiences so far, and in return the children ask me brilliant questions about what it’s like being an author and creating the Bugglepuffs. Fun is not enough of a word it should be ‘Fundeliciouslywonderfullystupendous!’
Join CL with her next blog when she will be talking about why she decided to indie publish and shares tips on how to overcome writer’s block!