Book Launch Event – Child of the Earth
Crowvus are a small indie publisher based in Wick, in the far north Scottish Highlands, who publish their own books, run writing competitions and offer support for other indie authors.
Child of the Earth, by Susan Crow, was published on 13th April and she kindly gave a Q&A session for us to publish here.
What was the inspiration for Child of the Earth?
It became apparent that, in terms of helping this planet, I am able to share my thoughts and experiences connected with the natural world. If I can communicate my gratitude for wild things in their natural habitat by my writing, I feel I can return a small part of an immense favour granted to me throughout my lifetime. I have, in this way, been inspired to put together an assortment of my nature writings and to write up to date accounts of my passion for Nature.
How long did it take you to write Child of the Earth, from conception to publication?
It probably took about eighteen months – but it was done in phases. At the beginning, a good deal of time was spent collecting material. My illustrator needed to read the chapters before she was able to put together the pictures, so I had to join up what I had collected with my recent input. We then edited it together as a complete work.
Do you prefer writing Narrative Non-Fiction to Fiction?
An interesting one this. Like most people, I have had experiences which would make good stories. My friend has tried to encourage me to do just that – write the book. My response is that I don’t think I can make the world any better with my fiction, but I like to believe my memoirs and my descriptive writing will be of use and will be read for the pleasure of enriching the reader’s own experiences.
Child of the Earth follows through the months of the year. What is your favourite month, and why?
This is tricky because I know my children will read this and hope that I choose their birthday month! It’s tricky for another reason too – because each month has something exciting to offer. I’m trying to be objective here – so I suppose it comes down to a choice between May and October. May, because of the over-brimming of new life everywhere – not just the seabirds nesting on the cliffs; the bluebells carpeting the woodland; the lambs catapulting off their nursery floor and being closely watched by their mothers – but also the chestnuts in blossom along avenues; the townie-jackdaws behaving exactly like their country cousins and the city fox confidently able to order a take-away. October, because the fruit is ready for picking and storing in lofts and garages; leaves are turning through yellow; red and bronze, birds are off on their exchange visits once again and mammals are refuelling ahead of Winter. The first frosts are beautiful as they dust the webs of spiders. To choose between May and October? Aaargh! It will have to be May. Why? Because there are far more wasps in October!
What impact do you think Nature Writers can have on national and international issues?
I believe that Nature Writers have fantastic potential to improve our ailing planet. Stephen Moss is able to link his reader with his own experiences in an uncluttered and thoughtful way. John Lister Kaye has used his many and varied projects to bring awareness of environmental issues to a worldwide audience, perhaps most effectively through his writings.
I was given a review copy and these are my thoughts on the book:
Part memoir, part journal, part keen observation, Child of the Earth is a kaleidoscope of a book. Largely following the months and seasons, you can shake it and see something different every time. Quotes, country ways, and photos blend into a whole which is much richer than the sum of its parts. Dip in, or read through – there is something for everyone here, whether a nature lover or not.
You can buy a copy of the book via the Crowvus website: