Writer Spotlight: Ellie Clements
Writer Spotlight Series, creates a positive image for young girls to refer to, by having conversations with different writers and illustrators. This month we have been doing Q&As with many writers, to get to know more about them and their work. Here, we are showcasing all the questions we have asked Ellie, the author of The Wondrous Prune.
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Congratulations on your first debut novel, The Wondrous Prune. What inspired the idea for this book?
As a long-time fan of superhero films and TV shows, I always wanted to write about a child with a superpower. However, for me, the story was always going to be one where the protagonist would still have to deal with the ebb and flow of everyday life—and this is certainly the case for my protagonist Prune. She’s just moved to a new town and is missing her best friend, plus she’s having to deal with issues such as bereavement and bullying.
It’s very important that Black children can see themselves represented as the central hero of a story and it’s great we’re at last seeing more and more books where there is this representation. When I was growing up, I didn’t get to read about children who looked just like me, as those books either just weren’t there or weren’t very easy to source.
What came first, the plot or the characters?
Definitely the characters. Though it took me a little while to come up with the name of my protagonist and the book title. However, one day when I was sitting on the bus, the name Prune literally popped up in my head and that’s when I also came up with the title, The Wondrous Prune.
While writing the story, did you discover anything surprising?
Just how fantastical Prune’s power is and the fact that she can bring anything to life through her drawings and in the story, she brings to life some incredible things.
The Wondrous Prune is one of a planned series. What can we expect from the other stories?
I’m definitely going to be stepping up the powers for my next book, which is all about a boy called Sonny and similar to Prune, his superpower can be a bit hit-and-miss sometimes.
What do you hope young readers will take from The Wondrous Prune?
I’d like them to be able to recognise that joy and happiness can still be found even in times that may feel bleak or discouraging.
Quick Fire Round
What are you currently reading?
When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten and Leonora Bolt by Lucy Brandt audiobook.
If you had one superpower, what would it be?
Being able to fly—a power I’ve wished I had those times I’ve been stuck in traffic!
About the author
Ellie Clements was born in London, and decided she wanted to become an author at the age of nine when her favourite hobby was writing short stories. Her passion for writing continued and she later studied journalism at university.