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Claire Fayers: Cardiff-based children’s book author

We all want to enjoy working as it takes a big part of our life. However, how can you make it? There is a story of the woman who dreamt of being an author for more than 20 years and finally achieved it.

In the 1970’s, a kid was walking around bookshelves, and looking for something interesting in Newport library. She then found an old children’s book, which was about Greek myths and legends. She was absolutely fascinated by the book because it was completely different from what she had known before.

At that time, the little girl believed that books were written by people who had been dead or they didn’t exist in the real world. She couldn’t even imagine there were people who made a living by writing stories.

“When I was a child, I used to make things up just for fun. I didn’t think then at all that I was going to end up being a writer,” said Claire Fayers. Last year, she published her first book The Accidental Pirates: Voyage to Magical North and became a published author.

10 years later, she was doing A levels, and still enjoying writing stories. She met a couple of good teachers and decided to show her piece. Claire said: “That was the first time I ever I showed my writing to somebody. I generally hid it away.” She continued: “Then a couple of good teachers read some of the things I wrote, I’m sure they were not very good at all. But these teachers read them to encourage me and told me to keep going.”

When she decided to study English at university, she was thinking about being a writer. “I thought maybe I could do things like magazines, newspaper articles and features because I’ve seen those sort of things, and I knew that people who did them are real people.”

When she got her first book published last summer, she had already been freelance as a writer for more than 20 years. During the two decades, Claire constantly kept writing stories as a hobby.

“The first thing I did was some huge fantasy novel, because I read Lord of the Rings and I really liked it. Then I thought I would write Lord of the Rings! I’ve still got the copy but I won’t show it to anyone.”

After writing the huge fantasy, she wrote another fantasy book, which was for young adults. Although it unfortunately didn’t get published, quite a few agents showed some interests and that encouraged her to write another one, The Accidental Pirates.

She explained how she could come up with the idea of the Accidental Pirates: “The young adult book I’ve written was very dark and very serious, I thought I want to write something for slightly younger children, and I want to write about something fun. Well, what’s fun? I thought pirates are fun, sword fights, sea monsters, magic. So I just put everything together that I thought it’d be fun to do.”

Let me explain the outline of the story here. There are two main characters in the book; Brine Seaborne and Peter. Brine is a 12 year-old girl who has been a servant of a malicious magician Tallis Magus for 3 years after she was found in a rowing boat. Peter is an obnoxious apprentice of Magus and has dreamt of being a great magician someday.

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The bookcover (United States Version)

At the beginning of the book, Brine and Peter really don’t like each other and are always arguing. However, one day, Magus makes a decision which will change their lives completely so that they have to work together to sort it out. But unsurprisingly, it doesn’t go well, and they end up being lost in the middle of the sea. They might starve to death, be eaten by sea-monsters, meet pirates… their first adventure has just started and could literally go any way.

As the story goes, Brine and Peter are getting to know each other more and more, and eventually become good friends. Claire said: “I wanted to show that how people could become friends when they start off not liking each other. Then people can change, and people could become friends.”

In the interview, Claire said: “I really like Marfak West (A villainous magician). One of the reasons I like him is that he says the sorts of things that might come into my head but I don’t dare to say them out loud, because it’s rude.” I could know from the comment that how much she loves all her characters.

Her latest book The Accidental Pirates: Journey to Dragon Island, which is the sequel of her first book, is going to be published on May 18 in 2017.

Most people would wonder how Claire did not give up dreaming and kept writing, but the answer was extremely simple. “I just kept doing it because I enjoy it. I was writing a book for fun,” said Claire.