writer. creator. total daydreamer.
Guest Author Spotlight
Instagram: Elizabeth Clements @elizabethclementsauthor
This week it is my pleasure to interview Elizabeth Clements. Would you please introduce yourself to my readers and share something about your life.
Hello! It’s lovely to be here! So, I grew up in Alberta Canada, where the Rockies were my playground, clear rivers were my pool and Christmas without snow just wasn’t Christmas at all!
However, interestingly I have always wanted to come to Australia and I now live here with my husband and children, where new adventures have sparked my joy for coastal living, learning to squish spiders with my bare hands is the norm and my husband reckons I am now more Aussie than he is!
When did you write your first book and how did it come about?
I have been writing stories and poetry since I was a young person, and have always found joy in expressing myself with words. I was first published in a Canadian Youth Poetry book called Under The Maple Tree when I was about 14 years old, but that was many years ago now.
My first children’s book is written and in the process of being illustrated, I first wrote that for my daughter in 2018 when she was struggling to find her voice anywhere other than home. I have since begun writing another 3 children’s books, all around empowering children to see the power and strength they have within themselves.
My first published book will be launched this year and is a collaborative non-fiction chapter book that tells the stories of becoming families. My particular chapter is a precious story about my son who was lost to stillbirth and my journey through this tragedy, muddling my way through grief, finding joy even amongst the pain and an empowered voice to live and grieve and be happy how and when I needed to.
Do you always write in the same genre or do you mix it up?
I think it is beautiful to have a mind that can dabble in many areas. So I love to read and write in various genres. I love to write rhyming, whimsical children’s books, dreamy stories about wanderlust and write truthful life stories that offer a knowledge that no matter how perfect we try to make life turn out, no one is immune to difficulties, and the more we normalize that, the more we come together as a unified group of people.
When you write, do you start with an idea and sit down and let it evolve, or do you make notes and collect ideas on paper beforehand?
If you could only see my notes! I often have an idea or even a sentence that will wander through my mind at the most unexpected time, so I will scramble for one of my many notebooks!
However, if that is not nearby, which is more often than not, you will find me looking for anything to write on, be it a scrap paper, a receipt or even a napkin! I have also had many times where I have wanted to write something specific and will sit down and just freely write what comes and look at it later!
Would you like to give us a short excerpt from one of your books?
I hid behind her thinking no one could see,
Meanwhile trying to figure out what had happened to me.
When I am home, I am loud and could talk all day!
When we go out, it is as if someone has snatched my voice away.
Some days I manage to remove all the glue,
Then I realize there are so many things to talk through!
From the book- When I am Stuck!
How could you?’ It smacked me right out of the murky waters I was in and made me realize that I was sharing in my grief, it wasn’t mine alone…
...There is something incredibly cathartic about writing these words, they are no longer a conversation only had by myself in my head, but instead, I am purging my mind and soul of the deeply concealed feelings that are rarely shared with the outside world.
From the book Achieving Parenthood- Chapter Jayden’s Light
Who is your favourite character and why?
Oh this is a hard one! So many great characters to love like Anne of Green Gables and Elizabeth Bennet! I have to say since I was little I have thoroughly enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia and I adore Lucy! I admire her determination to press forward with what she feels and even knows to be true. I love that she is a healer, and therefore also an empath, this really rings true for me and I can relate to her so much. I also delight in the fact that Lucy doesn’t judge the differences of others. It’s beautiful!
Which of your books gave you the most pleasure to write?
To be honest I loved writing the story ‘When I am Stuck’, my aim is for it to be published this year. I felt so much joy when I saw the smile on my daughters face as the words sunk in and made perfect sense to her!
For me a children’s book should be one that inspires and connects, so I love writing about subjects that will let children know they are heard and that they have the strength and power in them to accomplish great things, even when barriers seem to be in the way. I think now more than ever we need to empower children to be strong and compassionate leaders and change makers!
I also love reading people’s life stories, stories that give me something relatable to hold to or inspire me to be or do better. So, I think writing about our lived experience is important, so many people feel alone and isolated in whatever struggle they may be facing, and the more we can relate, the more people will be able to navigate these difficulties successfully. This will also be a focus in some of my next books.
What is the best marketing tip you have received?
There are so many great tips and tricks out there to get you out of your comfort zone. I think some of the basics that can be most successful are; 1. Be consistent, and genuine and 2. Set yourself goals, big and small and then within those goals, set baby steps to achieve them, and make sure you are doing the uncomfortable thing that gets you out of your bubble of security and nothing will feel impossible!
How would you describe yourself?
I would probably say I am quietly confident. I love to meet new people, and am never afraid to have a conversation with anyone whether it be a healthy debate or a ‘tell me about your story’ sort of chat! I love to learn and also love to educate. I have always liked to create things and find the same passion in writing. I use my hands to talk and am probably quite animated too! Always up for a laugh, but down time is a must. My greatest joy is my family and being a mum!
What do you do when you are not writing or reading?
Travelling is one of my favourite things to do, learning about new people and cultures. I love to be outside, hiking, camping, climbing, or working on our land. For me food is life; eating it and cooking it! Baking reminds me of my mum and I love the feeling a home has when there are fresh baked goodies to be enjoyed, so I try to do this as often as I can. Sewing and crafting is one of my favourite hobbies, so when I get the chance I really enjoy making up patterns and dream of what my craft room will one day look like!
If you could holiday anywhere in the world, where would you choose and why?
That would absolutely be Kiribati! My husband lived there for 2 years, and loved the people so much. I had an opportunity to meet so many beautiful Kiribati people in Hawaii, and it was through them that my husband and I ended up meeting! So, I have always wanted to go and experience more of their culture, but first hand in their country! However, my husband will tell you the answer is The World, as travel is ultimately my favourite thing to do!
If you have owned pets, do you have a funny story you would like to share with us?
We have owned many pets, but the first story that comes to mind is one about our chickens, in particular our hen called Nutella! She is a very friendly hen and whenever you walked in her direction she would think you must surely have something for her, so she would come darting in your direction.
Well, one of our children was never terribly pleased about this, as the chickens would sometimes have a little peck at your shoe. One day, I was in the kitchen doing the dishes and the front window was directly above the sink, so I was enjoying the scenery, when all of the sudden I hear a loud screech, as I looked out the window I see a child running full bore down the driveway, arms in full swing and head darting back now and then to see how close Nutella is on her tail, chasing after her to see what she has to give her!!
I had said to the kids when we first got these very friendly hens to just stand still when they come to you, if you run they will run faster!! Sure enough, a lesson learned! I still crack up about it every time I tell the story, it was like watching a movie clip!
What is the biggest factor for you when selecting a book to read?
The blurb for sure! The cover of course is a huge factor, especially with children’s books. I am also drawn to how the book feels, the cover, the pages, that’s so important! Don’t you just love to feel the cover of a book?
I also love recommendations from like minded people as we are likely to have a common interest in book genres. When I was travelling in Ethiopia in 2018 with a charitable foundation, the group of people we travelled with were amazing and boy did we get a great booklist going!
Do you have your own website?
I am currently working on a website TBA, which I am very excited about but I also have Instagram which is Elizabeth Clements @designinglife, that is probably the best place to keep up to date with things right now! (Update 12/07/2021: new website www.elizabethclements.com.au)
Are you working on a new book at the moment?
I am working on two new illustrated children’s books, and they are in the process of being illustrated by an amazing artist, Manzar Sezavar. I am also working on 3 other stories which are in the throws of being written!
Do you have any events or book promotions coming up that you would like to tell us about?
As I am new in the author game, my first book will be published in the coming months and I am currently working on a book launch at my local library in Portland Victoria.
I will then plan further events around this book and the coming children’s books! So keep an eye out on my social media to stay connected and involved in the various launches! Thank you in advance for the support!
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, their stories, traditions, living culture and continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging. We respectfully operate on Gunditjmara land and commit to work towards a brighter and inclusive future.