The Extension!

Where Writers And Authors Meet

Click here to edit subtitle

Old Blog

WWAAM Interviews Jan Clifton Watford

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 1:20 AM

Where Writers And Authors Meet Interviews:
Jan Clifton Watford!

Jan Clifton was our Featured Spotlight author last week and vistors were encouraged to ask Jan some of their own questions! Here is a link to that Spotlight! Feel free to ask more questions, and we might just be able to get Jan back for a follow up interview!


From: Julie

How long does it take you to write a book? I'm curious because I think there's a misconception about "children's" books being easier to write.

Jan: I think it depends on how experienced you are as an author and whether the book is a picture book or chapter book. The idea for my first book came to me pretty quickly but then it took me a long time revising it and having it edited, etc. Another book that I wrote is a chapter book, Roland’s Stupendous Imagination And The Native Americans, and that took me much longer. I come up with my ideas fairly quickly. It is the editing and illustrating that takes such a long time for me. I think a picture book could be written and illustrated in a couple of months but then it depends how many corrections and editing it needs. I do think that most people do not have an idea how much work goes into writing a book and especially if you illustrate it yourself also.

From Jo Linsdell: (

What made you specialize children's books?

Jan: I love young children and have always loved picture books so it was a natural pairing for me. Also I am certified to teach young children and this further peaked my interest when I would watch a child's interest when they were shown a picture book for the first time with their eyes wide with wonder. Picture books are a young child's first introduction to literature so it is wonderful to think you might be opening a child's mind through your writing and illustration.

From Jo Linsdell: (

What do you like best about writing for children?

Jan: It has to be seeing their face and expressions when you tell them you are an author and illustrator and watching how they enjoy my books.

From Jo Linsdell: (

What did you learn from publishing Drabsville that you will use for future projects?

Jan: I am still learning, but I did learn a lot with Drabsville, including pacing, keeping the sentences simple, and the requirements for a picture book( layout of pages, etc.)

From: Edward Frank

Have you considered using collage to illustrate one of your books?

Jan: Yes, I have considered using collage for illustration of some of my books. I do experiment with collage in my other paintings and will probably apply that experience to illustration also at some point.


From Sophia:

Hi Jan,

Do you also paint digitally? If so, which program do you use?

Jan: Yes, all my illustrations for my children's book are done digitally. I use my IPad and my favorite drawing programs are the apps, Sketchbook Pro and Procreate. I like Sensubrush as a stylus that has both a brush and a short nib rubber tip. I have been using Pixelmater (Mac app) for sizing. I presently am taking lessons online for Painter 12 to help me better understand how to use it. I have to admit that I really love drawing on my IPad because it is so portable and a more natural action looking and drawing down instead of drawing down and looking up on a PC or laptop. The options offered on Painter are extensive though and I want to learn how to use it also.

From Sophia:

How long does it take you to do all the paintings for your books?

Jan: It takes me much longer to illustrate my books than to write them. It usually takes me a couple of months to illustrate a book and make the corrections.

From: Hazel Nutt

Has your teaching helped you create your books?

Jan: My background in education has definitely influenced my books and all of them are educational. My desire is to entertain a child and educate through my books.

From: Hazel Nutt

Do you ever get writers block?

Jan: Yes, I do and I think all artists and writers do. It seems to affect me the most when I am stressed or upset.

From: Hazel Nutt

Are your illustrations inspired by your writing or is your writing inspired by your art?

Jan: Both. Often I will get and idea for a book but then need to start sketching to get the idea of what the characters will look like. That helps me format the story.

From: Hazel Nutt

Do you have many books in the pipeline?

Jan: Yes, I have two in the works now. Both are educational picture books. I have ideas for a couple more.

       I also am working on a revised version of Roland’s Stupendous Imagination And The Native Americans, which will include more illustrations and digital interactivity.


     From the Admin:  Thank you Jan, for sharing with us your amazing insight into writing and illustrating books for children

You can find Jan Watford's Book's on Amazon Here:

Other places to order them from:




Categories: Writers Interviews

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In


Reply Jo Linsdell
5:34 PM on March 18, 2013 
Thanks Jan. Great answers. I agree, there's nothing better than seeing that look kids give when they're enjoying your book. It's nice to think we're their first stepping stone to a life of reading pleasure.
Reply Virginia Rinkel
11:53 AM on March 19, 2013 
Great interview. I enjoyed your comments on using your ipad. I recently got an ipad 2 which I am sort of at a loss as how to start using it to draw on. I've always done everything traditional, but your programs, "Sketchbook Pro, etc will help me start to investigate these. I do have Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign 3 on my main Mac and have used these for art pieces for my job. I've got a long ways to go, but will keep drawing - and exploring these technologies. Thanks again for your comments.