Meet the author
Children and young people books
Ffwlbart Ffred: Drewi fel ffwlbart
Author Q & A
Sioned Wyn Roberts
Now it's the turn of Sioned Wyn Roberts to go under the spotlight answering our
questions! Come and find out more about her...
What inspired you to start
I never thought of writing books until I went on a children's literature course at the Tŷ Newydd writing centre 18 months ago. The experience was a complete inspiration and I haven't stopped writing since. Shortly afterwards I had a place on Literature Wales’ literature scheme to develop the authors of story-and-picture books. That is when the Ffwlbart Ffred series was created.
as a child?
I have always enjoyed reading. As a child, historical fantasy was appealing. Luned Bengoch, a classic by Elizabeth Watkin-Jones and the Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge (no one heard about this book until J K Rowling mentioned that this was her favourite as a child and now it's back in print!)
Strong characters first and then the plot. For children, courageous and fearless characters are appealing. And adventure and excitement are important. Fairy tales and legends are good stories, with motifs that are relevant to us today.
important - characters or plot?
Ffwlbart Ffred: Drewi fel Ffwlbart is my first book. The first in a series.
I hope they will laugh while enjoying the story and seeing Bethan Mai, the illustrator’s funny pictures. The stories rhyme are therefore fun to read and a good way to remember a story.
Ffwlbart Ffred 'explains' our strangest idioms. Phrases like: yn ddu fel bol buwch, bwrw hen wragedd a ffyn, mynd dros ben llestri and ceisio dy orau glas. I wanted to create an original and native Welsh language series.
Think about your last book. What was it?
What do you hope readers will get from reading the story?
What is your favourite book or author and why?
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Sometimes there is a certain description or idea so original I must stop reading and ponder a little. The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is also a favourite.
I get 'fads' with authors; if I enjoy the work of one author I’ll read their books and then go on to the new favourite.
Is there a character you love or just love to hate?
I used to hate Edmund from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
New book on the horizon?
Yes there are more Ffwlbart Ffred's on the way and I'm working on two novels currently.
I've got Kindle, which is very handy while I'm travelling, but it's hard to remember what I’ve read about because I can't see the cover. So always a real book for me- I like to flick through the pages etc. Plus, you can't really read a Kindle in the bath!
Real book or e-book?
What message do you have to inspire young readers/writers?
Binge-read! Read a load of books! A good book opens up new worlds. We also have to get into the minds of characters, some of which are similar to us and others who are totally different -helping us to better understand people.
When a book is difficult, or takes time to read, force yourself to push ahead. (and skip the boring bits.). With time, you will be engrossed in the story. But reading doesn't need to be a chore, sometimes it's nice to have a book that's easy and a page-turner. And comics and texts also count as reading!
For young writers-go for it, there’s nothing to lose. One important thing I’ve learned is- even talented and experienced writers have to work on writing. It doesn't come out perfectly the first time –It's OK to take your time to think, refine and improve the work. And good luck!