Candy Gourlay is the SCBWI British Isles’ web-mistress. Her debut novel Tall Story came out in May and was picked by the Sunday Times as one of the ‘100 Best Books for summer’. I interviewed Candy about her research for the November 2010 issue of Writers’ Forum.
Candy told us how nine years ago she decided she wanted to be a picture book writer and went to her first SCBWI conference taking with her a folder containing every picture book story she had ever written, which is a definite, 'No, No!' At the conference, she realised she did not know as much as she thought she did about writing picture books.
So, she decided to try her hand at writing novels instead but, there was still a lot to learn and a lot of studying to be done. Candy entered her novel, Ugly City, into the 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition. When it got through she thought it was going to be plain sailing from now on. She was quickly taken on by an agent. But, she explained how she came back to Earth with a bump. Ugly City was sent out until there was no one left to send it to.
Meanwhile, she started writing Tall Story. It took nearly a year to write. Her Agent sent it to David Fickling Publishers on an exclusive deal. When her agent rang her to say David Fickling loved the book and was going to publish it, Candy said it did not really hit her that she had got her first book deal. It took five months before the contract was completed and even after the book was in the shops it did not really hit her. She said she felt more excited about Steve and Jon’s books as she did their websites.
Candy is currently writing the second novel for her two book deal. She is a 'National Treasure' and you can read more about her in my post: Giants, Basketball and Earthquakes. Candy has produced her own websites and even made her own trailer for Tall Story, which was a real family event. You can watch the trailer for yourself in my post: Tall Story by Candy Gourlay.