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Clementine Beauvais - Author

About the 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 by Clementine Beauvais

The Royal Bake off

The Royal Bake off

7+ readers

Author: Clementine Beauvais Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/09/2015

Holly, Anna and Pepino are delighted when King Steve invites them to be his kitchen assistants in an international Royal Bake Off, organised by his older brother, King Sam of Americanada. The prize money could finally make their dream come true: the intergalactic holiday of a lifetime. But the tournament is round after terrifying round of death-defying baking, and King Steve is determined to beat his brother at all costs. With one of the contestants also plotting to take over Americanada, can Anna, Holly and Pepino stay out of danger and win the competition?

Other books by Clementine Beauvais

In Paris With You

In Paris With You

Author: Clementine Beauvais Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

Because their story didn't end at the right time, in the right place, because they let their feelings go to waste, it was written, I think, that Eugene and Tatiana would find each other ten years later, one morning in winter, under terra firma on the Meteor, Line 14 (magenta) of the Paris metro. Eugene and Tatiana could have fallen in love. If things had gone differently. If they had tried to really know each other. If it had just been them, and not the others. But that was years ago and time has found them far apart, leading separate lives. Until they meet once more in Paris. What really happened back then? And now? Could they ever be together after everything? Powerful, intelligent, and set in a Parisian's-eye view of Paris, a story about the love that got away.

In Paris With You

In Paris With You

Author: Clementine Beauvais Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/06/2018

Because their story didn't end at the right time, in the right place, because they let their feelings go to waste, it was written, I think, that Eugene and Tatiana would find each other ten years later, one morning in winter, under terra firma on the Meteor, Line 14 (magenta) of the Paris metro. Eugene and Tatiana could have fallen in love. If things had gone differently. But time has found them far apart, leading separate lives. Until they meet once more in Paris...

The Royal Bake off

The Royal Bake off

7+ readers

Author: Clementine Beauvais Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/09/2015

Holly, Anna and Pepino are delighted when King Steve invites them to be his kitchen assistants in an international Royal Bake Off, organised by his older brother, King Sam of Americanada. The prize money could finally make their dream come true: the intergalactic holiday of a lifetime. But the tournament is round after terrifying round of death-defying baking, and King Steve is determined to beat his brother at all costs. With one of the contestants also plotting to take over Americanada, can Anna, Holly and Pepino stay out of danger and win the competition?

Sesame Seade Mysteries: Scam on the Cam Book 3

Sesame Seade Mysteries: Scam on the Cam Book 3

Author: Clementine Beauvais Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2014

Sesame Seade is suspicious. There's something fishy going on by the river: a case for a number one supersleuth! Sesame's parents insist that there are no pirates in Cambridge, but she's determined to prove them wrong ... Illustrated throughout with hilarious artwork by Sarah Horne, this series features a smart and sassy heroine with a unique take on life. Also in the series: SLEUTH ON SKATES and GARGOYLES GONE AWOL.

Sesame Seade Mysteries: Sleuth on Skates Book 1

Sesame Seade Mysteries: Sleuth on Skates Book 1

Author: Clementine Beauvais Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2013

Armed with a pair of purple rollerskates and a brain with as many connections as there are stars in the universe, eleven-year-old Sesame Seade is more than qualified to be Cambridge's number one self-made supersleuth. All she needs now is a mission. So when a student ballerina and aspiring journalist vanishes into thin air, some serious sleuthing begins. Very much against her parents' wishes, but with help from her friends Toby and Gemma and a conspiratorial duck, Sesame slips into the wings and solves the mystery of the missing dancer. Illustrated throughout with hilarious artwork by Sarah Horne, this series features a smart and sassy heroine with a unique take on life. Also in the series: GARGOYLES GONE AWOL and SCAM ON THE CAM.

Author Info

Author's Website

http://www.clementinebeauvais.com/

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