A warm welcome to all of you who have been a part of the Ponds of Wonder community for some time now and a special welcome to those of you who have just recently joined!
Today it gives me great pleasure to shine the author spotlight on an award winning local author here in Malta who writes for both children and adults. Head of the Department of Maltese at the University of Malta Junior College, Clare has been an active member of the local writing community for a number of years and has provided some wonderful pieces of literature for all to enjoy. Read on to learn more about this versatile and creative author, but before you do, don't forget about the free competition that we will be holding to celebrate Clare's work. More information about this at the end of this article!
Author profile section:
Country of residence: Malta
Favourite hobbies: Travelling, Reading and Gardening
Favourite song: There are too many!
Favourite movie: Same as above!
Favourite Colour: Purple
A place you enjoyed visiting recently: India
A place you would like to visit one day: Cuba
About your book:
What inspired you to become an author and how long have you been writing books?
I’ve been writing since I was at University but I’ve been publishing since the year 2000. Many authors have encouraged me to write, my father was also a great inspiration, but probably, the people I encounter, the children I teach and the books I read, all of these leave an impact on my way of thinking, and my writing.
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
It all started a while ago, when I was teaching in a girls’ secondary school, back in 2007. The school was ugly, really ugly, and the girls used to hate it. They hated the environment and wished for a better school. Now in the book, H.A.Ninu De Molizz is a celebrated renovator of schools. But his two sons, Saver and Klawdjo hate school and their aim is to demolish and destroy all schools in Frulli Frilli.
Can you provide readers of this article with a short synopsis about your book?
This is the third book in the trilogy. In this book, Saver De Molizz escapes from prison and ends up in a small town called Ħorrox Borrox. There, he meets Ludmilla and marries her. Then, together, they go back to Frulli Frilli (his birth place) with nasty and weird plans in mind!
What do you think readers will find most appealing about your books?
They’re fun and humorous. They don’t dictate to you. They have good plots and grotesque characters. But not only. The words, the way they are set, are not static, they seem to be running all over the page and as a reader you have to run after them. It’s also full of limericks and cat’s speak!
Tell us about your main character.
In this latest book, the main character is Saver De Molizz. He is mean and cunning. He hates children and he hates the fact that children go to school and read books or do Maths. His only plan is to destroy schools so that children cannot learn their favourite subjects. Saver is crazy and at the very end he completely takes control of the novel.
Tell us about your illustrations.
These books are illustrated by cartoonist Mark Scicluna. I’ve worked closely with Mark for the past 6 years. He has illustrated the 3 De Molizz books, 10 books for younger children and a Christmas picture book.
What do you hope readers learn from your book?
I want my readers to have fun, to enjoy the language, the limericks, the characters, the plot. I want them to start reading and never stop until their eyes drop.
What other books have you written?
Quite a few I must say. But my favourite are: 10 chapter books about young Jake Cassar and King Pancracious, Mingu and il-Qtates ta’ max-Xatt (both of which are picture books); Frejp for young adults and 2 anthologies of short stories for adults: Il-Linja l-Ħadra and Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh.
Are you currently working on any other writing projects?
Yes, I am working on a Christmas picture book and a novel for adults. Both very different but I must admit I love both genres. I try to write at least one picture book a year and at the same time focus on my novel which I’ve been working on for the past five years.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
They can visit my website: www.clareazzopardi.com and they can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook. I usually put all my latest publications on these social media networks.
Do you have any words of advice to parents who may have children who do not readily look to picking up a book to read?
Visit more bookshops and libraries. Read to your children aloud. Browse books online and look for authors reading their books. Take your children to book launches … and above all, remember to stock up your home library with new, fresh and interesting books.
Do you have any suggestions or tips to children when choosing a book to read?
Choose what interests you and not what your parents choose for you. Choose wisely, but if you start a book and after a few pages you realise that you are not enjoying it, then stop. There is nothing wrong in that. Choose another one.
Well I hope that you enjoyed reading this article and have learned a little more about the wonderful stories by Claire to help provide further enrich the creativity and imagination of Maltese literature for both children and adults alike.
Thanks to Merlin Publishers we have five copies of Claire's new story: 'Jissokta l-Każ ta' Saver u Ludmilla De Molizz' to give away to five lucky winners. All you have to do is click on the following link, insert the required details and you'll be included in the draw!