Today we get to meet Vickianne Caswell, author of the Freckles the Bunny Series. Let’s meet Vickianne:

Vickianne Caswell, Author

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I first wanted to become a writer when I was in high school. My father had published a poem which I was very proud of, I had a wonderful English teacher that encouraged me and I had already begun writing a fiction novel (which still hasn’t been completed). The desire to become a writer wore off for a while as the real world set in and it wasn’t until we had Freckles and my daughter was born, that I wanted to write again. I didn’t start writing the series until we moved out to an acreage and I got to experience the joys of having some other animals that I had not had before.
I’ve had many people tell me what a great idea I had in creating a series based on my unique pets. I am pleased with the fact that people not only seem to like the concept but when they hear the stories, they are impressed with them as well. The writing didn’t really have a big impact until I took one of the written works to school (this hadn’t been published yet) and read to my daughter’s class. Not only did the children laugh and enjoy the story, but they actually learned from the lesson I was trying to teach. This and hearing those I read to laugh, has encouraged to write more.

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
I’ve published three books in the Freckles the Bunny Series. The first one (“Freckles is Scared of School”) was an introduction to Freckles and her unique group of friends. It was also written because I’d remembered seeing my daughter’s friend scared of her first day of school. I wanted to be able to help children as well as teach them important lessons in life but in a funny manner. The next one was a companion book with information and fun stuff about each of the real animals, “True Tails of Freckles and Her Friends”. The second book in the series, the latest one published, is “Freckles and the Less Fortunate.” It was written to help children to understand what it means to be less fortunate. I included my dog Tiger, who spits out a garlic pickle in the story. This has been the highlight of the story I am told by a lot of children. The pickle part of the story actually comes from Tiger stealing my sub sandwich. He ate everything but the garlic pickle and wrapper.

Currently, I am working on putting together the third book of the series, “Freckles Lends a Paw.” It is about a rabbit that everyone is scared of because they thinks he is a mean wizard. They do things that are not very nice like sticking gum drops on his car and toilet papering his tree. One day, when Freckles’ mom notices that no one has picked up his mail, she begins to worry. Freckles soon learns not to believe everything she hears because Mr. Loppity is actually a very nice rabbit and she begins to help him. I wrote this story when my daughter had rumours circulating about her and things that she was supposedly saying. When I read it to the class, the rumours stopped and the ones listening understood the lesson in the story. I am currently writing my sixth story in the series, while we put together the third for publishing.

What are your future aspirations as an author?
I plan to continue on with the series with hopes of writing for some older children as well in the form of chapter books. I hope to continue to be able to reach children with the stories with hopes that the lessons will reach the readers and perhaps help them along the way.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
My ideas have come from my daughter’s experiences in school and home, as well as my own. The ideas come from that and the animals themselves. If I am unsure of what to write about, I tend to try to decide who should be in it and then work my way from there. I try to concentrate on the humour and picture in my head what would look funny in the illustrations and then write that in as well. I like to try to put myself in a child’s state of mind as I write them too so that readers can relate to Freckles.

What do you do to improve yourself and a writer?
I take in all feedback, I read the stories ahead of time to children so that I know if they are any good and I always listen to my daughter’s opinion because she is a child and that is who I am writing for.

It’s always helpful to have your children involved in your writing process. Thank you Vickiannne, what a great interview. Stitch Says will be reviewing Freckles is Scared of School later in the week. Until then keep reading, keep writing