Samantha Webb is a full-time children’s author and illustrator who lives in Devon with her husband and 2 children. Samantha loves to needle felt teddy bears and watercolour. She uses a combination of both to illustrate her novels. She has self-published a children’s series of books about the ‘Cornlings’ wrote and illustrated by herself. Her latest novel is Glub, the story of a teddy bear stuck inside a claw machine. Glub wants so desperately to get out and be loved by someone, but all of the children are scared of him. Visit her website here. Get your copy of Glub below.
What are your hobbies, outside of writing children’s novels?
I love to create artist teddy bears. I have made over 100 and been featured in Teddy Bear Times magazine, it is a real passion for me.
Was there a particular moment that you realised you wanted to be a writer?
I have always written stories for as long as I can remember. Having my own children and reading my stories to them really gave me confidence in myself and the desire to share those stories with more people.
Was it your favourite pastime?
I really enjoy reading and read most days but I also love building Lego which has become a family favourite activity that we can all join in with.
Your new children’s book Glub is about a creature, who is trapped in an arcade machine, waiting for someone to pick him. I think it’s very important to not ‘judge a book by its cover’ in this case, Glub being the one who is judged. He is a loveable character. What message did you want to send in this book?
The message behind Glub is that just because you don’t look the same as everyone else, does not mean that you won’t find people who like you just the way you are.
Where did the idea for Glub come from?
We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of the country that is popular for tourists so we have lots of arcades all year round. We like to take our children to play every now and then but my son Harrison always seems to take a liking to the bears in the cranes that most children would look past, the sad toys that have most likely been there for years and he cannot resist the sad faces.
I understand you make teddy bears, did this help inspire your story in any way?
I love teddy bears and they inspire my illustration work a lot. Most of my stories will have a teddy bear in them somewhere. However when I was a child I had more goblins and monster toys than teddy bears, I would have chosen Glub over a perfect teddy bear without a doubt.
Is Glub real? Can we purchase a Glub? I would love to have one to feature on our bookshelf.
I have created a little version of Glub from needlefelt before I began the illustrations, this helped me to see him from all angles and he now sits on a shelf above my desk. I would love to create some Glub toys but I need to figure out the niggling issues with CE testing first, but it is definitely something I hope to create in the future.
I saw that you have hidden a cornling within your illustration of Glub, can we expect to see Glub feature in your next book?
Oh I am so glad that you spotted it! I am currently working on a book about a little Bee named Blake and there will definitely be a few cameos to spot.
Why did you choose to write children’s novels rather than an adult?
I love to read myself in the evening and it is quite an indulgence. However, the joy of sharing a book with my children is one of the things that I look forward to most during my day. It is an absolute delight to see their faces light up, see them empathise with the characters and hear them laugh throughout the story, I want my stories to be ones that people share.
Your books are a delight to read and they almost roll off my tongue, you write your novels in rhyme was this a conscious decision?
Yes, it was a very conscious decision because it is what I enjoy reading the most. They are the books that my children want to hear time and time again and I don’t mind reading them at all. I have written none rhyming stories but I always seem to come back to the rhyming stories when I choose which ones to develop.
Was there a piece of advice you were given when writing and illustrating that you feel would help other aspiring authors? Could you share it with us?
I was advised to get a copy of The Children’s Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and I am so glad that I did. It answered so many questions that I had and made the process seem a lot less daunting.
Your illustrations are very beautiful, colourful and interesting to look at, did you always plan on illustrating your own stories?
Thank you. I love to draw and have illustrated stories for other people too. I write and illustrate at the same time so I don’t really see them as separate from one another.
What are you working on now, is there another book you’re currently writing?
As mentioned above, I am working on a book about the adventures of a young bee who has gone in search of flowers in a world that has lost hope. I usually have two or three stories at various stages so that I can work on them easily wherever I am.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is there anything that you would love to have accomplished?
In 5 years time, I would like to have made enough money from my books to account for my lego addiction. In all seriousness though, I would like to have written more stories and have them published. I would love to create a character that captures people’s hearts, perhaps Glub will be that character and have more adventures.
What is your all-time favourite book and why?
I absolutely love The Secret Garden, it is beautifully written, you can so easily imagine the scenery. It really captures the amazing resilience of children who are faced with very different problems and is full of hope and heart, I would love to illustrate a version of it someday.
What is your favourite quote and why?
All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them – Walt Disney
This is my favourite quote because I really do believe that your dreams can come true if you work hard enough and are brave enough to take a leap of faith or two.
Since Glub was stuck in a claw machine, I feel obliged to ask, what is the best thing you have ever gotten out of a claw machine?
I am notoriously bad at claw machines! However, I did manage to get a troll (Harmony) a few years ago when we were in Paignton and I was so over the moon, she now sits on my bedside table proudly!
And finally, if you were stranded on a desert island, in which you could only take 3 items, what would you take and why?
I am guessing that my husband and two children do not count as items, so … I guess I would take my pencil case which is full of everything I need to draw and write including a tiny watercolour palette, my Hufflepuff blanket because I really do not like to be cold and a tea caddy because I could manage without food for a while but I can’t go more than a few hours without tea.
Amelia enjoyed reading Glub for our story time! She has fallen in love with this little purple teddy. We can’t wait to see some more of your stories!