Dogs are our passion and we love hearing about other people whose love of dogs has inspired them to make a difference in the world. Clare is one such wonder!
With the help of her daxie Wotsit, she uses dogs to help children explore their thoughts and feelings through her books. Each book is based around The Little Paws Hotel for dogs – there are some fabulous 4 legged characters including Olive, Gus, Fig, Dudley, Peggy and Basil.
We chatted to Clare to find out more...
Tell us about the dog(s) in your life!
I was brought up surrounded by dogs both in my family home and my grandparents home. I now live in London with my husband and two teenage daughters and we have our own wonder dog called Wotsit, a smooth haired, black and tan mini dachshund, who is nearly 8 years old. We ADORE her. Excitingly Wotsit is not the only dog in our lives as I have an extended family of other dachshunds due to my dachshund hotel called The Little Paws Hotel. Each day four-legged furry friends rock up to receive day care or boarding in our family home. I am allowed up to 5 guests a day - it's dreamy!
Which DD recipe is Wotsits’ favourite?
Pawfect Picnic is a firm favourite.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always put pen to paper whether writing a diary in primary school, scribbling poetry through my teenage years, journaling during my travels in my 20's or recording special events or moments to reflect on as a parent. I love people, connection, emotion and talking so when I met Maria Floyd, illustrator, in North Cornwall one summer about 12 years we got talking about children's books and so the next leg in my writing journey began...researching and writing children's books.
Can you tell us a little bit about your books?
I come from a health care professional background where communication, compassion and care were integral in my work. Just as the adults I worked with needed literal, honest, clear, simple language to help them explore their emotions and cope with their health changes, I found through parenting that children needed the same.
Many of us, as adults, can be worried about how to start a conversation with our little one's big emotions, so my books aim to help young children explore their thoughts and feelings through my stories.
I have written six thoughtful rhyming stories in The Little Paws Hotel, beautifully illustrated by Maria Floyd, all told through the eyes of different breeds of dogs for 3-8 year olds.
There are questions at the back of each book to encourage families to talk together about the emotions and associated physical reactions from the various themes touched upon (separation anxiety, fear of new experiences, perfectionism, being bullied, being the bully, grief).
All my scripts have been researched and crafted alongside parents, care-givers, clinical psychologists, educational psychologist, bereavement counsellors, teachers, SEN's and children themselves to ensure they are relatable.
My hope for any young child reading one of my stories is to be able to draw on their own experiences and/or learn about empathy in some way where their emotions are acknowledged, validated and normalised. All my books are eco-friendly and are printed by a carbon balanced publication printer in Surrey.
If you'd like to find out more about The Little Paws Hotel, visit https://www.head2heartbooks.com