Jay-Jay the bus is rescued from the dirty scrap yard, where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. Feeling nervous yet excited, he is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.
A fictional tale based on a real-life bus ‘Supersonic’, which flew in the imaginations of the many young children who visited it.
Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus will be 99p until 22nd April.
Special Blitz offer: A free 3D bus which can be claimed via web site ‘Enquiry button using ref code JJay (www.suewickstead.co.uk)
Additional bus models and books also offered as a promotion on request.
1.When and where do you prefer to write?
I really don’t have a set routine to write as it is a bit of a hobby. I write as and when I want. I also write for a purpose.
I used to write a daily diary when on holiday, this I still do, but I also now write a daily diary of my supply teaching journey. This helps me recollect and refer to school visits. Not sure if I will ever do anything with these.
With my story writing I generally plan with a mind map plotting in ideas.
2. Do you have a certain ritual?
When I write I generally write in long hand and just write ideas. I never cross out or erase ideas as I often think that maybe it might not fit exactly here but maybe in another story sometime. If you rub it out or erase then it is gone forever.
Once written in long hand I read through and edit then type it out on the computer.
I also read it aloud to get a feel of how it sounds.
3. Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
A cup of tea or a glass of water. Again, not anything exact.
4. What is your favourite book? (Mine?)
My favourite book? This is hard to answer as they are all favourites for very different reasons (I assume you are referring to my published books)
Bewbush Playbus – is a favourite because it is the real bus story and has lots of photographs of my involvement in the original bus project.
Jay-Jay the Supersonic bus – is a favourite as it is from fact to fiction. It came about following questions from children regarding my photographic book. It is also the start of my publishing journey.
Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure – is a favourite as it took my books to Spain. The original book was written for a touring book bus in Scotland, but in the end for many reasons the book, although edited, didn’t look as if it would happen. So, I changed the name to Jay-Jay and sent him on the adventure. The original bus went to the Shetland Isles, but the island on the cover is a little village I visit in Spain. The locals asked me to come along and tell them more about the books and the bus and now my books are in their little library. I have also read them in a couple of local schools in Spain.
Jay-Jay and the Carnival – is a favourite because we were always in the carnival parade and were in the last ever winning entry in the parade, the carnival no longer happens in the town.
Daisy Daydream – is a favourite as it is the bus I painted and is how I became involved with the real bus.
A Spooky Tale – is a favourite because it was written many years ago with my class when teaching in school. It was always a favourite with the children and so many years later, with a few alterations and improvements I published it for the younger children.
The Christmas Play Rehearsal – was a favourite as I was in charge of putting on the Christmas Play and following one eventful production, I wrote the story for the children. Again, many years later, and with a few changes the book was published.
So, for different reasons all of the books are a favourite but to choose one!? Well maybe the first Jay-Jay book because it was the first.
5.What is your favourite book? Other than mine
I always loved fairy stories, myths and legend as a child. Fantasy and escapism.
I really enjoyed ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
But my all-time favourite is Winnie the Pooh as he always made me laugh inside. (I can be a very serious person)
I also loved books with pictures.
6. Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I would like to write a book for older children and have one in the process. It is going to be called ‘The Weather Witch’, and is a story I have told very often, the story has grown and lots of changes along the way. It will hopefully include not only the story but information and ideas all related to rain-sticks, which is what the story is about. And yes, it will have a bus link at the moment.
7. Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
The bus character is a real bus, so yes. Human characters might be names I know and the weather witch story is based on events that happened to me.
8. Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I do have a notebook but mostly take photographs to inspire me.
I have lots of old school exercise books where I might write down a story and then hopefully go back and work on later.
9. Which genre do you not like at all?
I suppose I am not so fond of horror or steamy romance.
10. If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
Not necessarily co-write but I would love to perhaps have an editor who might guide me and keep my ideas on track. Consistency with my story structure would be good but perhaps also someone to encourage me as sometimes I lack confidence.
My children don’t as yet appreciate my writing as it is not their genre.
11. If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I hope to travel this country (UK) to visit bus projects, to meet and to write about them. Maybe there are bus projects in other countries.
But just to visit and see a country maybe New Zealand or Australia.
Thank you for these questions, it made me think. I hope you enjoy the answers-
Thank you too, Sue Wickstead and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the author
I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.
For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.
I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.
‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.
This story has now been followed by five more picture books.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.
The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.
Social Media Links
Facebook: – Author Page http://bit.ly/2kEEhPq
http://bit.ly/2kXfjdj – Bewbush Playbus
http://bit.ly/2BZiews – Teacher in the cupboard