readBC ~ Julie Burtinshaw

We think British Columbia is a pretty special place to live and also a great place to create wonderful children’s literature. readBC is a series of short interviews introducing our readers to our authors and illustrators and their craft. Read the complete series here.
For a list of books created and set in British Columbia, visit this page.

Julie Burtinshaw
Region: The Gulf Islands & Vancouver Island

Where did you grow up and does that place affect your writing?
I grew up in Vancouver close to the green forest of Pacific Spirit Park and the inviting shores of Spanish Banks.

Are any of your books set in B.C.?
In three of my books, British Columbia plays a large part: Dead Reckoning, Freedom of Jenny and Adrift. I am currently working on a non-fiction book set in Vancouver, BC, and I’m sure there will be more after that. A place help to shape both character and storyline, and this is the role BC takes in my books.

When did you know you wanted to write or illustrate children’s books?
I’ve never really made the distinction between books for teens and books for people – my stories just seem to appeal to youth – I’m so grateful for that.

What’s one piece of advice, or one thing you wish you had learned earlier, about creating children’s books?
I wish someone had told me to simply write – write every day and write from the heart. Research your story before you put the pen to page and then let the words flow.

What are you working on now?
I’ve got two projects on the go. I’m in the final edit stage of a book coming out in the spring of 2011, and I’ve just started to research my first complete non (as opposed to historical) fiction book.

Where do you do your work, and/or what’s on your desk?
I work either at home or at a café near my house. On my desk at this moment one would find:
A notebook
A TV clicker
An iPhone
A biology text book
A puzzle ring from the 70s
A dog chewy toy
Ear buds
The Vancouver Sun
A copy of Giest
Two Hello Kitty Pencils
Three pens
A cat
A digital camera
A book about Vancouver’s early days
Solar by Ian McEwen
And that’s it!

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