Clementine Beauvais - Author Picture

Clementine Beauvais - Author

Clementine Beauvais was born in Paris, but decided to cross the Channel at the age of seventeen to see how things were done on the other side. She very much liked what she saw, and has been living in Cambridge ever since. As well as studying children's literature, Clem is the author of the Sesame Seade Mysteries and the co-host of the Kid You Not podcast on children's literature. She still makes funny mistakes in English sometimes, but she's very proud that she doesn't have a comedy French accent.

Q&A

Who are your favourite authors/illustrators, and why?

My favourite illustrators include Anthony Browne and French illustrators Claude Ponti and Sempé – all amazing, in different ways, at making people look just as complex and funny as people usually are. My favourite authors – now, that’s a terribly difficult question. There are so many! Half of me would hate the other half for selecting some and leaving others aside. I’m sure my favourite authors, whoever they are, all haunt my writing anyway – because that’s what happens when you write, you just pilfer tricks and themes from people you love.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

I was too much of a voracious reader to have just one favourite book. Of course, the Harry Potter books – of which I was a passionate fan from the age of 9, and which made me learn English. But some of my best memories of earlier reading include the Pippi Longstocking books, the Jennings series, Tintin, tons of other comics, and many other French books for children. I also loved Roald Dahl, of course, and later on, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials as a young teenager. I tended to like magical or fantasy stories, but now I tend to prefer writing realistic or magical-realistic fiction.

Who is your favourite hero in a book?

My favourite hero is definitely a heroine – but I don’t know which one to choose, between Pippi Longstocking, French supersleuth Fantômette, or Lyra of His Dark Materials… I like heroines who are funny and active, and don’t take themselves or others too seriously.

Who is your favourite villain in a book?

I think Harry Potter has by far the widest range of villains, from Voldemort to the more complex ones: Severus Snape, Cornelius Fudge, and Bellatrix Lestrange… I also like villains who are hilarious, crazy or ridiculous, like most of the villains in Alice in Wonderland, who don’t even know that they’re villains – or are just playing at being villains – who knows?

If you could be a character from a book who would you be?
Charlie Bucket right after the end of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Nothing bad can really happen to you if you’re Charlie Bucket then, apart from a bit of indigestion. It’s a pretty good life. I’d love to graze on the sugared grass.

Who or what was your biggest influence in deciding to become a writer?

My parents’ bookshelves were full of other people’s books, and they seemed to value those books enormously. I realised I had to get on those shelves somehow to attract their attention… Now they’ve got a special shelf just for my books. Success!

When did you start writing?

Even before I started being able to write. I would dictate stories to my mum, and she’d write them down. I had a very obedient mum.

If someone wanted to be a writer what would be your number one tip for them?

Finish what you start! It’s very, very easy to begin a story, or two, or twelve – and incredibly difficult to finish them. You lose hope and love and motivation halfway through. To me, a writer is someone who finishes a story – no matter how good or bad. Get that first draft done. Finish it! What are you doing reading this interview? Go write!

Do you have any abandoned stories in you ‘bottom drawer’ that you would like to revisit?

Very, very, very many, but though early stories are always worth a nostalgic look, they’re not really good enough to justify ‘revisiting’. Writing is like pole-jumping – you have to do it many times until you actually manage to pass the bar, but no one’s going to tell a pole-jumper “Hey, why don’t you show us the videos of all the times you didn’t make it?”. Those jumps were failures, but they did contribute to that moment when it was finally a success. Same for writing. Those abandoned books might never see the light of day, but they helped prepare the way for the stories that eventually did end up in bookstores.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Clementine Beauvais

The Very Royal Holiday
Clementine Beauvais - illustrated by Becka Moor
After three exciting adventures recounted in previous books, Holly, Anna and their friend Prince Pepino are embarked on the Holy Moly Holiday they've been saving up for. At first the cruise ship offers everything they could wish for (apart from...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/06/2016
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The Royal Bake off
Clementine Beauvais - illustrated by Becka Moor
This fabulously funny sequel to The Royal Babysitters and The Royal Wedding Crashers, with its wonderfully wacky illustrations throughout, will delight fans of Judy Moody and Darcy Burdock.
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 10/09/2015
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Reader ReviewedThe Royal Wedding Crashers
Clementine Beauvais - illustrated by Becka Moor
There's a Parisian setting and decided air of chic to this singular adventure story. Anna and Holly Burnbright and their friend Prince Pepino urgently need a holiday job so when the elegant Mademoiselle Malypense asks them to help with arrangements...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/05/2015
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Reader ReviewedThe Royal Babysitters
Clementine Beauvais - illustrated by Becka Moor
October 2014 Book of the Month Silly jokes and madcap adventures are the order of the day in this very funny and highly illustrated royalty-themed series for younger readers.
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 11/09/2014
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Author Info

Author's Website

www.clementinebeauvais.com/

Author's Blog

clementinebleue.blogspot.co...

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