Born and raised in London, Lorna Liverpool’s passion for writing began when she won a poetry competition at the age of 14. She then went on to write short stories in her spare time. It was after the birth of her first child that Lorna decided to revisit her passion for writing children stories based on her African heritage. Her first novel A Dance to Remember was published in November 2014.
As well as writing children’s books, Lorna actively engages with her young readers by organising and hosting workshops in schools, libraries, hospitals and festivals around the UK. These workshops incorporate storytelling, arts and crafts, African drumming and dance.
Just Read It caught up with Lorna on the release of her second book, The Hidden Treasures Within.
#1 Who or what inspired you to write?
I was inspired to write my first children’s book A Dance to Remember after I had my first child. I drew on my East African heritage to create a timeless and magical story, about a girl called Kaa’hina whilst raising awareness of East African culture.
#2 The Hidden Treasures Within is your latest book, tell us what it’s about?
My new novel is a sequel to A Dance to Remember. The main character Kaa’hina goes on another magical and mystical journey to the great pyramid of Kemet to connect with her ancestors. During her adventures, she learns how to find the ‘treasures’ that are in the mind of every child, which start with positive mental visualisation and trusting in yourself.
#3 Self-confidence and positive thinking appear to be recurring themes in your books. Why are these themes in particular important to you?
Having self-confidence and positive thinking is important to me because it’s helped me throughout my journey in life. I want young readers to feel good about themselves as this will help set them up for future success in everything in their lives, from excelling at school to having great relationships.
#4 You also run craft/music workshops for children, do you find this enhances the reading experience for children? How so?
I find that when children are engaged in doing fun activities like arts and crafts and playing the African drums, especially after a reading, it reinforces what they have heard and learnt during the story-time session.
#5 What do you hope children (and adults) will take away from reading your novels?
I hope both children and adults would have learnt more about the African cultural traditions, and also that they begin to believe in themselves and their abilities to achieve.
#6 What kind of books did you read as a child?
I read the ‘Peter and Jane’ series, the ‘Famous Five’ series by Enid Blyton and Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck
#7 You have two children, which books and authors do you read with them?
Other than my own stories, including my two novels, I’ve read to them The Most Important Gift of All by David Conway, Rainbow House by Vivian French, Grandfather and I, by Helen E Buckley and Mum’s Late by Elizabeth Hawkins. Also, A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
#8 As a self-published author, what advice would you give other authors trying to get published?
I would tell anyone who want to self-publish their book to go for it because it will broaden their perspective of the publishing industry. It’s also an avenue that they can pursue if they wanted to be a consultant for up and coming writers in the future.