Hache: Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. First of all let me tell you how much I enjoyed your latest work “HMS Titanic”. Let’s kick off with that; what inspired you to write it?
CB: Well, my teacher gave me the idea of ‘slaughter’ and was talking about personification and the rest came from books and my head.
Hache: Some of the imagery is stunning. I particularly liked the idea of the view from the deck lasting forever. Of course, for some of the passengers, it did indeed last forever. Do you always think in such deep ways?
CB: Most of the time yes, but if I don’t get the rhythm of writing it can turn out quite weird and doesn’t make much sense.
Hache: How would you describe “HMS Titanic”? Do you think of it as being poetry for example? It’s certainly very poetic.
CB: Yes, I think it is a poem that tells a story in its own way, that slowly drifts into the mind and goes out.
Hache: So, what’s next? Any more writing just itching to get done?
CB: Once I have a chance I’m sure I’ll do another piece of writing that has my twist. But it might also have quotes from a book.
Hache: Maybe you could make a living from it one day. Do you have any ambitions in that direction?
CB: Well I thought of writing songs and films but it would be great if I was an author/illustrator because I would be able to draw but at the same time match it up with my own story that I understand.
Hache: You’re not only a talented writer but also an artist and musician. Where do you think all that artistic ability comes from?
CB: Let’s just say there are a lot of artistic examples from my gene pool. Mostly from my mum’s side.
Hache: And if you had to choose just one of the arts as your favourite, which would it be?
CB: I couldn’t choose just one so it would have to be art and writing. Art because it’s my true desire and writing for the pleasure of letting my feelings out into words of emotion.
Hache: It’s probably a bit early for you to say yet, but do you have any burning desires to follow a particular career path? Or will you just wait and see where life takes you?
CB: I have plans and back up plans so I want to be a swimmer but sell paintings to get money. I also would like to be a writer and work at a film studio and if none of those happen, I know my faith in God will steer me into the right path.
Hache: What about other kids at your school. Do they admire your work too?
CB: No. In fact they can sometimes be quite negative. It was only when I read it to my mum I felt secure about my English work
Hache: Some children your age struggle with creative ideas. Do you have any advice for youngsters who would like to be artistic but don’t have your natural flair?
CB: Just keep on practising and reading books and you will get more ideas as you go along.
Hache: OK, I’m going to put you on the spot now. Name your favourite writer, artist and musician.
CB: Writer-Chris Riddell, artist-Lowry (for now) and musician-I don’t have a favourite yet.
Hache: Have any existing talented people influenced your style at all?
CB: Only my books, mostly by Chris Riddell and Paul Stewart, one of my favourite books was the first called ‘Fergus Crane’ and I recommend to 7-11 year olds as it is a good idea giver.
Hache: If you were trying to encourage more people your age to take up the arts, what would you say to encourage them?
CB: Don’t stop when you make a mistake, keep on going until you are happy and don’t let anything stand in your way, just let what you feel out onto your page. Use things around you to inspire your own creation.
Hache: That’s a brilliant piece of advice, thanks. I’m going to take that on board myself. And, a tough one to end with. Why are the creative arts important? Are they as important as, say, the sciences? And if so, why?
CB: Well in my opinion, you should choose to do what is right to you. They are different but both important, for example: arts-imagination and brain. Science is usually just knowledge of inside the box. What I’m trying to say is to explore and go outside the box!
Hache: You are one very wise young lady. Thank you so much for meeting me today CB. It has been a real pleasure and I hope you continue to produce such quality work way into the future.
*nb OK, confession time. So I’m her grandmother - but I’m not prejudiced. Of course not!
Hache L. Jones, 2015