Claire Rosemary Jane, Children's Author.



Why I write and what I write about.

I am the oldest of six children of whom four are boys. My late father was one of the radar pioneers, starting his radar work at Bawdsey Manor near Felixstowe. Having been born in 1919 and having left school at 14, he did not have the educational advantages that we more modern children had. His father was head gardener of several stately homes, something that he did not want to do; he had set his heart on working in electronics. This career he pursued for the whole of his life, including throughout the Second World War where, as a member of the RAF, he became very involved with the radar which aeroplanes used to assist in protecting Great Britain. Ending up with a government research establishment, much of his work was secret, so he could never talk about the work that he actually did, and also like so many people who lived through the Second World War would not talk about the war either.

So that is the background that I and my brothers and my sister grew up in. However as a result of dad's background, he was a very proficient electronic engineer, and a pretty good mechanical engineer as well, and that aspect and interest he did impart on all of us as we grew up, to varying degrees. That background, which was forever of a technical nature, we either consciously or subconsciously became immersed in ourselves.

So that to some extent has influenced my own writing. Not for me stories involving wizards, and witchcraft and magic, but rather stories which are as factual-based as possible. (There are exceptions to this, in that "Chloe's Extraordinary Telescope" is by and large science fiction, but science fiction with something of a difference.)

My one and only published work so far is "Carol Corsa and Mickey Morgan", which was inspired by an actual occurrence that happened to me on a Somerset country lane. At the time that I had this idea, I had two teenage sons (they are grown up now), and it struck me that a series of short stories about the adventures of two cars would appeal to boys, who seemed to love cars, but if carefully written could appeal to girls as well. Thus I started writing this series of short stories which were intended to appeal to children aged between 5 and 10 years old. The first book was illustrated for me by a young and very underrated guy called Robert Hutchinson.

I should mention here that my dad loved to read, (he would read almost anything, even fiction of which the Cadfael books were some of his favourites) and he was very supportive of me in the writing that I did. In fact he read most of the 32 Carol
Corsa and Mickey Morgan stories that I had written, and also read and commented on "Deluged" as well.

After having written this whole series of short stories for Carol Corsa and Mickey Morgan, (all of which were based in actual places, and many of which had actually happened in real life,) I moved on to writing stories with young adults in mind. Thus the idea for " Chloe's Extraordinary Telescope" was born, the idea for which arrived oddly enough whilst coping with a severe bout of flu, it was then followed by "Deluged" which was a story about two teenagers' incredible bravery during a storm so serious that it virtually cut off the ability to communicate with the outside world, which was then followed by "The Boy Who Loved Robots", written very much with computers and their incredibly fast development in mind. Finally, I turned my hand to something very different, written as a result of my extensive travels in the United States of America, entitled "Abigail's dilemma", which was very much about problematic family relationships.

So to summarise, my books and stories are very much factually based, but always contain a very strong thread of emotional issues within them as well. These can involve anything from grieving over the loss of a loved one, to coping with one's first love, to rebelling against one's own parents. All things which I have experienced first-hand myself.