Q&A with Children's Book Author Tom Powell

Amanda K. (BookBuzz)

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Tom Powell with his book The Colourblind KidPhoto byBookBuzz

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Meet Tom Powell, a multi-talented children's book author who has a passion for entertaining young minds. His journey began as a primary school teacher, where he discovered his flair for poetry renditions, storytelling, and even a few magic tricks. Tom's unique perspective on the world was revealed in his first book, The Colourblind Kid, which was inspired by his discovery of being colourblind after repeatedly colouring the sea in purple during his school days in England.

Now based in Shanghai, China, Tom is an international head teacher who continues to expand his line of captivating children's books. With his wife and daughter by his side, he strives to inspire and encourage children to embrace their own individuality and unique perspectives through his charming stories and imaginative illustrations.

Author Q&A

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The experiences found in ‘The Colourblind Kid’ come directly from my experiences. As a child I didn’t realise I was colour blind until school and my colouring was always wrong. I would always colour the sky purple and red flowers brown. This led me to write this children’s book. My hope is to help children with colour vision deficiency realise that there are many colourblind people in the world. Also, I’d like to educate all that being colourblind doesn’t mean you only see in black and white.

What are your current projects?

I’ve got a couple of writing projects currently ongoing. One is a children’s chapter book about a boy who can make wishes come true. The other is another picture book about a dragon who learns to control his temper. This is based on trauma informed practice and used frequently within my teaching career.

Do you see writing as a career?

I would love to see writing as a career. At the moment I enjoy the whole process of creating books for children. Throughout my own teaching career, I’ve seen how stories and poems can be very impactful for children. So really, my main goal is to do the best I can to support children around the world enjoy reading. If that makes being an author my full time career, that would be great.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I guess this would be during my English Language A level, when I was around 16. Previously to this, I has always enjoyed mathematics and science subjects the most and done well in them. Previously, although I did well in English writing, I was turned off be the fact spelling was so hard to calculate. I found that words didn’t seem to have a recognised pattern or rule that worded all of the time. This made me nervous to write as I was afraid of making mistakes. However, during this course I found that this was the opposite of what English was about. Mistakes and editing were something to be celebrated and that the most important this is expression. As I went into teaching and learnt more about how words originated, it has supported my understanding of language further and is something I feel strongly about sharing with my students.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I’ve not had to travel to write previously; although, I’ve definitely written while on holiday. I’m currently living in Shanghai, China. This has opened my eyes to think carefully about what I write. Reading books now, in this country, I realise how colloquial some books can be and how it is important to provide in-text clues or pictures to support an international audience.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Share your writing with others. If you’ve managed to write a book or text, you’ve done an amazing job. However, you can’t be precious over what you’ve written. Accept feedback and edit your work, if you want your work to be for others.

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

There are many authors and poets that have inspired me from growing up, teaching and until now. As a child, I loved to read Roald Dahl. I found his make believe language and small poems a delight. As I’ve got older and into my teaching, poets have really excited me. I’ve enjoyed reading aloud poems from Kenn Nesbitt, Michael Rosen and Shel Silverstein.

What is your preferred font to write in?

This is a funny one. I’ve never really thought about my favourite font; although I do have one I dislike… ‘comic sans’.

What is your favorite word, and why?

I have a word that I use all the time… much to my wife’s displeasure, ‘fine’. I think that it’s a fantastic adjective and should get more credit for what it can do. So much so, I’ve actually written a poem about it:

I'm just a simple word, it's true,
One that's used by many, but not by you.
I'm F-I-N-E, that's how I spell,
But lately, I feel like I'm not doing well.

I'm used to describe a state of being,
Like feeling well, or simply seeing.
But lately, I've been overlooked,
Like a dusty book, that's never booked.

People say "fine" with little thought,
Like it's a word they've already bought.
But I'm more than just a simple rhyme,
I want to be used all the time.

I want to be the word that people choose,
To describe their feelings and their news.
I want to be the word that brings a smile,
And stays in people's minds for a while.

So please, don't overlook me so,
I'm more than just a word, you know.
I'm fine, and proud to be,
A word that's simple, yet full of glee.

Find out more about the author on his website at https://authortompowell.com/

The Colourblind Kid is available for purchase on Amazon.

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Amanda is a PR manager and book lover from Georgia. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two doggies.

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