Although I've lived for most of my life in north London, I was born and grew up in South Wales. My mum read to me a great deal, and I think it was from her that I developed my love of language. I also enjoyed drawing and painting, and eventually won a scholarship to study at Dublin College of Art.
When I came back from Eire, I first worked as a teacher in a Rudolf Steiner school. Then I came to London and took a number of strange jobs, including reading aloud to a blind writer and typing out his manuscript. The typewriter I'd hired to do this had some paid-for time left, so I used it to write a short story which I sold to a women's magazine. It became the first of many, and the beginning of a successful career. While my children were growing up, I stopped writing, and started a small design business, making screen-printed puppet theatres, flying saucers and playhouses that looked like medieval battle tents.
Work took us to Paris, where we lived for two years, and where, incidentally, I first encountered the Romanian gipsy girl who features in my novel, FOR MARITSA WITH LOVE (Simon & Schuster).
My first children's book, THE TIME TREE (Walker Books) grew out of a story I told my daughter and her best friend to pass the time on a very long walk (the original idea came from a TV programme I'd watched about teaching children with hearing problems). The girls begged me to write it down so that they could read it for themselves - so I did.
TO SUMMON A SPIRIT (Walker Books), was one of the Pick of the Year titles listed in the Children's Book Award. I'm now published in the USA and Australia as well as the UK, and my work has been translated into Danish, German and Japanese.
Many of my books are now available as ebooks on Amazon Kindle, including my new, and never previously published, children's novel, DRAGONCAT, which was inspired by the Chinese community in North London. My research for this was hugely helped by my Chinese artist friend, Mei-Yim Low. And talking of ebooks, do take a look at AuthorsElectric/blogspot.co.uk - a site for professional authors publishing electronically, where I blog on the 28th of each month.
Writers often get lonely because they work for so much of the time alone, so some of us have joined the Scattered Authors' Society (or "the alternative SAS"), where we can share problems, celebrate successes and occasionally meet for fun lunches.
Most of my books are for people of around four to fourteen plus, but I also write for adults. Like most authors I enjoy talking about writing, especially to children. Currently I've been working on picture book texts. I have two coming out some time later this year. At present, I'm having an intimate affair with a dancing hippopotamus and a flying piglet.
Enid Richemont in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?Barry, South Glamorgan, Wales
What do you love about short stories?Short stories require very disciplined writing.
Do you write in other forms?I write Middle-Grade and Young Adult novels, as well as picture books
What distracts you from writing?
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Art, music and dance.
What is your favourite book?
Who are your favourite writers?, and
Where is your dream location?
What one item would you put into Room 101?
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Work by Enid Richemont:
With fourteen fingers, blue hair and a name that sounds like a sneeze, Mrs Kachunka is no ordinary dinner lady. She has a strange eyeglass that puts people's minds in a spin. Theodora thinks she's great, but Thomas won't have anything to do with her. Mrs Kachunka, however, is not easy to ignore! A junior novel with chapters aimed at 7 - 10 year olds.
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