It took until after her 70th birthday for Lotte Moore’s writing career to begin. This week, 11 years on, she holds the first edition of what is already her 22nd book: School Scooter Fun.
This work, her 16th children’s story, was released at a time when Lotte, 81, worries more than ever about the future of printed books.
In a digital age of machines, she fears children’s priorities have changed, something that continues to drive her.
She said: “I feel very sad that children don’t read as much, and that makes me go on to try and make them realise.
“Some children say they can’t afford my books and I say to them: if you can afford a hamburger you can afford a book – it all depends what you want, doesn’t it?”
Lotte overcame struggle after struggle to get to a position where she could begin her writing career, moving on from previous careers both as an actress and member of the Royal Ballet.
Family issues were frequent and traumatic, but she recalls a friend, Steven, who finally convinced her to put her feelings into an autobiography, released in 2007 and titled Snippets of a Lifetime.
She noted: “I spoke about my mother who was not very kind to me, I burst into tears and he said ‘write that down!’, if I hadn’t had him there encouraging me I don’t know if I would have been brave enough.
“It’s so good when you’ve written it down – you’ve changed, you’re not so sad inside because you’ve put it on paper.”
Perhaps the most traumatic moment came when Mrs Jones’ first-born son tragically passed away shortly after birth.
She said: “I was taken away in the ambulance and a little boy was born, (husband) Chris wasn’t anywhere near me, and then he died that morning. I couldn’t write about it because I had wanted a son so badly.
“There’s been a lot of tragedy in my life and writing really does help it, even if people find it embarrassing to read.
“I recommend it for many people but I don’t think I could write it if I hadn’t thought very carefully in my early days – you’re very emotional and it’s very hard to write things down like that.”
After a life that has included all this, even managing to fit in swimming with then-Prime Minister and family friend Winston Churchill when she was four, where next?
She says: “I would hate not to be able to anything because then I’d think I would have become a cabbage behind the curtain.
“I’d love to go on writing books, but I get terribly depressed sometimes by things and I think, oh gosh what can I do?
“I would love to get a bestseller of course, to be recognised as a writer, I would love that, but it’s not my aim, my aim is to go on writing because it keeps me going I think.”
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