Hello and welcome to my first post as an actual GHB blogger! Hurrah!
I thought as it was my first one, I’d better tell you a little about myself, my books, my inspirations, and generally who I am.
My name is Cecilia Busby (I’ll leave you to guess what the J stands for…), and I write fantasy adventure books for children aged 7 and upwards, with lots of magic and humour, because those are the books I like best myself. I have always loved reading and stories: as a child I either had my nose in a book or I was in the middle of some fantastic made-up adventure game with my sister and our friends. (That’s when I didn’t have to be at school, of course – although some of the adventures carried on in instalments in the playground…) My favourites were C.S. Lewis’s Narnia stories and Diana Wynne Jones’ books but if they’d been published at the time I’d definitely have have been a Harry Potter fan.
When I was seven I moved with my family to live on a barge on the River Medway in Kent. Moving from a house to a barge was quite a strange thing to do, but I loved it. It felt a little like camping permanently – when it rained you could hear the rain drumming on the decks, and when the tide was in you could feel the boat rocking and creaking.
In the school holidays we’d take the barge out along the river and anchor in strange little creeks in the middle of nowhere… and when I was about 10 we took one of our barges across the channel to France, Holland and Belgium, which was a huge adventure (and very scary). Altogether I lived on four different boats before moving when I was seventeen to a ruined cottage in the middle of nowhere in north Wales.
One of my dreams when I was a child was to become a children’s author – another was to become a great explorer. I was very disappointed when I got older to learn that most places had already been discovered. But eventually I became an anthropologist (which is almost an explorer!) and lived in a south Indian fishing village for a year.
It was quite an adventure – I travelled around dusty Indian roads on a motorbike (narrowly avoiding big lorries and buses which took up the whole road!), and lived partly in the village, and partly in the nearby city, Trivandrum. When I came back, I wrote a book about life in the fishing community in Kerala, and then taught social anthropology for ten years at various universities.
In the end, though, it was my dream to be a children’s writer that won out over exploring. I wrote my first book, Frogspell, in 2008, although it wasn’t published till 2011 (yes, it can take that long – and longer!) and now have six books to my name – the sixth, Dragon Amber, came out in September last year. All my books have magic, adventure and bits that make you laugh, and well as lots of different characters – girls, boys, wizards, knights, dragons, ducks and killer pike. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if I put too many characters in each of my books… but that’s a question for another post!
Anyway – it’s great to be here, and hello to you all! I’m looking forward to lots of interesting discussions over the year to come and if there are any things you’d like to ask me, about writing, magic, dragons, or living on boats, do please ask them.
If you want to find out more about the books, have a look at my website, www.cjbusby.co.uk.