It was in the BookGoSocial Children’s Book FB Group that I First found out about Ronald Craig. He had published a book ‘The Little Witch And The Lost Boy’. As a witch or a witch lover myself, I had to buy that book and I have not regretted. I loved the storyline and the characters, so well described and vivid, sometimes scared, but always brave. It’s a great story to be told on a dark winter day, or around a campfire in summertime.
Ronald writes for his daughters. You can find out in this interview, which book he has written since and what he has in the pipeline. As an author, Ronald is very supportive of his colleagues writers. I know him as a sweet man with a writer and storytelling talented and I am happy he agreed to this interview.
- Can you introduce yourself, what’s your name, where are you from… ?
Hello, my name is Ronald Craig. I’m 42 years of age and live with my partner and two young daughters in Redcar, England. I’m from a small coal pit village called Fishburn. A village full of folklore and tales ‘Witch’ which is in the land of the prince of bishops. I moved to Redcar which is part of a Jurassic coastline, this is where my partner is from. And is a great place for my kids with the beach full of fossils, all though it’s a bitterly cold sea it’s still great fun which is sourrounded by country side in local areas. Redcar is the place where the film Atonement was made featuring Kiera Knightly.
- Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I’m a stay at home dad. I was made unemployed so my partner returned to work after our second daughter was born and I remain at home. I had a father who left before I was born, that I have never seen or know anything about; this gave me a life wondering and what if’s when I grew up. Seeing different families and the complexities of other families was interesting, even my cousins family who was and is my best friend growing up. The two sides to his family made me wonder but my family was not to be spoken about and a closed book so to speak.
- Give 2 things about yourself that you think matter the most?
Live and breath my daughters. Good or bad I give a lot and I’m really accepting of others and any problems they have. Which at times is over looked if I have anything going on.
- IDENTITY CARD
- Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember my primary school teacher Mr Handly reading James and the giant peach and many other classics. He would play a guitar, sing and read books which inspired our imagination as kids. And my mother would read me adventure stories it will have been an Enid Bliyton book, but with so many to choose from at school I can’t remember the exact first book.
- What makes you laugh/cry?
Kids, my brother who tells stories of my DIY (not good) films with Adam Sadler in. I don’t cry.
- In which genre do you write?
Children, I also have an adult book yet to finish called The Black Path. But this is not a nice story it is based on folklore from the village I grew up in.
- What makes your book special, how is it different from other books in your genre?
I write for my daughters. It’s a story of a magic family. It has layers of truths and lies with the different characters all having different experiences in life and how they understand good and bad or Dark and Light. I worked in mental health services for a lot of years and I’ve used the experiences and training to help explain and label emotions in words. The story is full of secrets, especially within this magic family and the secrets they hide are from other family members including those close, What have they to hide? This is something that is true in my own family so I’ve used this understanding of how it feels within the story. A young girl will have to grow quickly as she will face now foes in a mysterious world here and to secret worlds.
- How do you feel when you write, do you have a special ritual?
I have ideas/thoughts, at times I could think for days or weeks about a character until I understand them internally. I’m not one of them writers who get mental block, I don’t have enough hours in the day to look after the kids and write. So it has to be a mix of both which can be frustrating when I’ve got so much to say in my writing. Sophina comes up with names of magical creatures which I have to tweak to suit what I want to tell my daughters. They teach me so much and have given me new emotions and happiness.
- What inspired you to write your first book?
It was one of those evenings. We lived in a old house (a old fire house) full of drafts and shadows. (My partner and daughter didn’t rest well in the house so we had to move) but continuing… my partner was out working evenings re-ableing people who had just been discharged from hospital, she would work late till 11pm at times depending on the needs of others. It was a winters night snow, hail and a wind the echoed through the house. I gave my daughter Sophina AKA ‘Nina the Witch’ her last bottle she was about 8 months old. We would play a game while she drank her milk I would look away then turn sharply she would giggle as she held on to my finger tightly. It’s one of them times when your tired and stressed from lack of sleep and long working days, she could just make it all away by holding my finger like she had witch powers. I sat there for a while watching her sleep in her Moses basket. It just came to me in a flood of information. A young Witch growing up in a world of light and dark magic, but how would she cope in the world we live. I’ll write her a story. I sat down got my rubbish laptop and written the last plot of the story of The Little Witch, I written 3,000 words before my partner got in from work. And I have never stopped yet. But now I have Scarlett AKA ‘Lettie the Witch’ who fills me with new inspiration and a world of wonder. Emotional overload at times, but I get such a satisfaction when I’ve got it all off my chest and into words.
- How did you come up with the title?
My daughters how they make you feel even in a state of anger, frustration and sleep deprivation. They can make it all go away from a smile or a look. The name ‘The Little Witch’ just rolled off my tongue so to speak.
- If you could be any famous book character, who would you be and why?
James from James and the giant peach, probably. I’d like to experience a lot of different characters this would give a big understanding and view of how people see things differently. Maybe a bad character.
- Is there a message in your book that you hope the readers will grasp?
Yes indiduality, substance and personal thoughts and feelings to every character. I’m hoping people with into the story more and think of who they are and why. Right and wrong, light and dark are different but how people feel things is how their lives turn out. Especially for a Lettie The Dark Girl who has a lot to find from within but this is not clear straight away.
- What are your top 3 books of all time?
I like Enid Blyton The Famous five, Roald Dahl, BFG big friendly giant, and The twits, again I remember Mr. Handles read this one in his class.
- How important is marketing and social media for you?
Social media is not what it says it is, there are to many fake profiles which leads to miss guided people. When I first started writing I looked at so much watched so many YouTube videos probably 100’s of hours of false instruction. There is so much miss guided information that you don’t know whether you are facing forward or back. It has helped me in a lot of ways but not as much as I like. The other side is every other person can do this and do that for £££ and get you this and that. It’s all false truths they are after money I have even contacted one PA and asked about his processes he sent my money back and asked me not to contact him again. You do have to be careful even in groups. You must chose a reputable company it costs more but you are safer.
- Is it important for you to get book reviews? Do you read them?
Yes they are great, I love to hear feedback and if I’ve got my message across. And love hearing from new people and what they like about my stories.
- What advice do you have for other writers?
Have a plan it will change but have a plan for you to follow. Keep as many notes or thoughts as you can and place them in the appropriate area of the story. I have written notes before but have never found where they fit if I only made a note then it would have made more sense. Don’t just give your money away to people claiming to be PA’s a good team is a must but be careful with your money. Commit to locals areas schools libraries and so forth these are your closest readers and future friends.
- Can you give your book information: blurb, link, genre (for children’s book, please tell for what age)
Series of books: The Little Witch
This series is perfect for ages 7 to 14
The Little Witch and the Lost Boy
Hook: A story of a young Witch called Nina and her best friend Toot’s a magic Owl living in a world of light and dark magic.
Blurb: A young witch travels through magic mirrors and find a world of light and dark
magic. Her best friend Toot’s is her only companion and she will find new friends and fearsome foes. As they discover what secrets hide in the dark. Not only being a witch Nina is a young girl hiding her true self from the world.
Hook: The story continues with Nina the Witch and Toot the magic owl as they find dark mysteries within a world of light and dark magic. Nina must face days alone as Toot’s is cursed with an unknown magic and Nina finds dark secrets within the family. But why are secrets kept from Nina? She must face what goes bump in the dark and find an underground world hidden from view. This leads Nina to discover the light and dark side of magic.
Amazon.com: Ronald Craig: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
- QUICK POP-QUIZ. (You can choose one or both, and please feel free to add a very brief comment)
Snow or sun: sun
Soccer or (ice) hockey: soccer
Dogs or cats: either
Ice-cream or fruit: fruit
Fact or fiction: fiction
Music or silence: music
Sport or reading: both
Sea or mountains: mountains
Groundhogs or squirrels: groundhogs (hmm wonder why this question)
Books or movies: books
E-book or print: print
- Is there anything more you want to tell your readers?
The main reason I started writing was to talk to my daughters in a way that would be lasting and they could understand. I want to make the perfect audiobooks, book and cartoon for when they are older. It’s a process and I will learn as I write and the thought is exciting that my daughters will have a story written after them albeit fictional. Myself and my oldest daughter will be on the local radio soon ZetlandFM they requested I bring her after appearing on the show with Julie Donaldson. Which my three year old is excited about.
Thank you so much Ronald, it was an honor to have you as a guest at Meet Your Next Favorite Author!