Interview With Author Maggy Woodley

Maggy Woodley started her child friendly craft website Red Ted Art almost 10yrs ago. The concept was relatively simple: making kids’ craft easy and accessible for all. Instilling the love for creating and crafting, as well as learning about recycling and being economical. As a mother of 2, with lots of experience of working creatively in schools, as well as running a YouTube channel, Maggy gained a lot of insight into what “kids can and can’t do”… but found that overwhelmingly, kids lacked craft supplies, opportunity and confidence. In her view.. everyone “can craft”, you just have to give them the right tools and space to be creative.

Paper Crafts for Kids focusses on the very basic materials – in essence PAPER, SCISSORS AND GLUE. Hopefully something that everyone has access too. Yes, a little card would be nice, yes some colourful paper would be fun.. you may need to dip into your stationary drawer for some paper clips or a tin can from the recycling box, but essentially, all you need is paper!

The book is design to build basic paper crafting skills (learning to make neat folds, cutting skills) and encourages the reader throughout to create their own versions of demonstrated crafts. How can basic shapes be put together to create something new! Or how can the addition of a cute little face, transform a simple craft into something extra cute and fun? The book is also loosely structured around the calendar year – focusing on crafts for the main holidays (Easter, Autumn, Halloween and Christmas), as well as Back to School fun, bookmark making and creating greeting cards.

Everything a budding crafter needs in one place.

Please introduce yourself and your book(s)

Hi, I am Maggy Woodley, creator of RedTedArt.com – a website and YouTube channel that shares easy kids crafts! The ethos behind both is to enable kids to fall in love with crafting and develop their skills and confidence. I have written two books – Red Ted Art, Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0224095552) and Easy Paper Projects (https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1624148506/).

What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?

The first book – Red Ted Art, Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids – reflected very much my own crafting journey with my kids. It is an eclectic mix of recycled and nature crafts for all age groups.

The second book – Easy Paper Projects – builds on the 10 yrs of writing and Youtube experience and my understanding of children and the accessibility of materials and craft space to them. The ethos of the book is simple: you only need paper, scissors, glue and pens to make more or less all of the projects. It teaches you ideas and concepts throughout the book, encouraging to create your own and let your imagination stretch your crafting skills!

What inspires/inspired your creativity?

When you are in the “field” of online crafts – with lots of blogging friends, YouTube buddies and Instagram colleagues, you see crafty things all day long. The creative process very much soaks this all up and spits it back out as new and fun ideas! My only criteria is: how easy can I make this for kids to have a go at!

How do you deal with creative block?

It varies! Sometimes I just take a break (I do love a nap!), other times, I simply set myself a challenge: “today you MUST make xyz out of abc”. Both approaches work and really depends on my mood at the time. Writing down lists of ideas also helps.. and sometimes they help you go somewhere completely different.

What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

It is such a cheesy thing to say, but I do think it is true – “not staying true to yourself”. If you try too hard to please others – e.g. the editor or what you THINK the reader MAY want, you end up not being authentic and the book loose some of its unique qualities.

Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

Oh I confess, that is usually up to my editor!!! I let them handle that! But it is definitely something to work on at the END of the book writing process.

How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

It is tricky, they say for ever one negative comment, you need 10 good ones to make you feel better again! It is strange, how true this is. Even if you are very thick skinned, those negative comments just draw you right in. My preferred way of dealing with them, is to simply ignore them. After all you can’t please everyone.

Having said that, if there is a repeating negative comment, then it is something you may want to look at and review. I guess it is all about how the comment is written – ie is it constructive and fair? Then take the comment on board and make changes if you can!

How has your creation process improved over time?

It has certainly become more efficient – so I am much quicker to create and produce my content than I ever used to be. I am not sure though whether fast is “better”. It is just different.

What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?

I am not sure if it is much of a revelation.. but surprising is how long things really do take. When someone says, can you create 60 new projects in 3 months, it doesn’t feel like that much. But actually, when you break it down into weekly activities, that is quite a lot. So you really do need to look at time and how long something takes to create and stick to a strict schedule.

Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

It is definitely a balance of the two! Actually three: personal satisfaction, readers AND SEO! Yes, I do create content to please the search engines. I think the key is to just have a balance of all three in order to progress.

What are your plans for future books?

For now a little break. It is amazing quite how much it takes out of you writing just the one! Plus, I need to make sure that the appetite of my readers is there and that they are ready for more. There is a 6yr gap between my first and second book. I am sure there will be at least another 2-3yrs gap (if not longer) before I think about another!

Pre order info is here:
https://www.redtedart.com/my-new-paper-crafts-for-kids-book/
Website https://www.redtedart.com/
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/redtedart

Author: NFReads.com

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