When my friend, Diana Milne was in the hospital I sent her a story every day to keep her entertained. This novella was one of the last
ones she read, and I think she liked
it just a little more than any of the others. Sadly Diana passed away soon after. On that same day I
asked Wild Wolf to take the story on, and they agreed. It's a way of saying, thank you for having been my
friend, Diana, this one's for you.
"The earth has been stricken
by the Super Plague, eradicating all humanity … all except for one man, and one
woman. In a now primitive world, will they be able to save our species? Should
For the longest time Helen's granddaughters, Evie and Iris, had been asking to read some of my work. This prompted me to dig into my collection of stories to find something that was suitable, and I came up with "The Little Mouse." In turn, the interest that this generated on social media was so overwhelming that it prompted me to look into getting it published, and the rest is history. It seemed only natural to show my gratitude by dedicating the book to these fine young ladies, because it was they who had got the ball rolling in the first place. Yesterday, when the paperback was released, Evie's nan showed her the dedication page. Apparently she was pleased because, using Helen's Facebook account, she sent me a photo, and this endearing message:
"This is Evie typing! i love the book and i love my name being in the book and now I'm famous!!!!!"
Moments like this don't come along every day, but when they do they make it all worthwhile. You could ask Evie I suppose, but, what with her new found fame and all, I'm afraid you'll have to call and make an appointment. ;)
"From the creator of Charlie Smithers comes an endearing story,
reminiscent of fairy tale classics of yesteryear. Filled with
enchantment and meaning, this charming tale appeals to young and old
alike, portraying how even the least among us can change the world."
"The Little Mouse" has often been described as a children's tale written along classical lines. Here are a few examples.
“It reminds me of the works of Hans Christian Anderson in its style.” ~ HPC.UK
“Superbly written and I would put this story up there with the greats of children's literature.” ~ tee gee
“The Little Mouse has a magic and charm that is rarely found and can only be likened to such well known classics as The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, delighting readers for almost a hundred years, and one of my favourite books, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis.” ~ d.arcadian
"A delightfully satisfying story." ~ Book Reviewers Online
tale, which will appeal to all ages, carries not just one, but several
important and poignant messages. Without being 'preachy,' the book lets
the reader carry away a positive and life affirming precept." ~ The
From the creator of Charlie Smithers comes an endearing
story, reminiscent of fairy tale classics of yesteryear. Filled with
enchantment and meaning, this charming tale appeals to young and old
alike, portraying how even the smallest among us can change the world.
There is a segment of the blog for "The Review" called "Diana Talks," hosted by the superlative Diana Milne, a good friend of mine. The purpose of the segment is to interview writers and is, without fail, interesting to read what makes so many of those talented people click. With the release of my next book, a story for all ages entitled "The Little Mouse," due to be released this Friday, today it was my turn in Diana's visitor's chair.
It's always good fun to talk with Diana, but you have to be on your toes, otherwise her quick whit will have you feeling like the 'straight man' in a comedy duo that you had neither expected, or were prepared for.
Today I welcome C. W. Lovatt to *Diana Talks... * On 25th May, C W Lovatt is releasing a new book, The Little Mouse,
a complete change from his usual genre, with illustrations by Angel
Rose. Two days before, on Wednesday 23rd May, the Review is hosting my
in depth review of this charming and life affirming book. I won't give
any spoilers now, but watch the Review Blog for the post on Wednesday.
Hi Chuck. It is a real pleasure to talk to you here. Not only do I
consider you a friend, I consider you an exceptionally talented writer. I
am delighted to have the opportunity to see a little of what goes on
inside that formidably intelligent brain of yours ...
Are you sitting comfortably.
Well, never mind... (sigh) ... wriggle around a bit then and let's just get on with the talk ...
things first I am sure there is a question that you have always longed
to be asked. Now is the chance. Ask your own question and answer it!
My own question, eh? Hmm, that is different! Let’s see, I’m going to go with ‘what’s it like being a writer?’
it’s not as glamorous as I thought it would be, but remember I’ve
dreamed of becoming a writer almost as soon as I learned how to read. As
a consequence, there’s been plenty of time for that dream to grow to
surpass all reason. For instance, I was going to own a tropical island
and live in a house that opened up like a clam shell – you know,
glamorous stuff like that. It’s laughable now, even risible, but that
dream stood me in good stead over the years, through some really bleak
times. When others (ie sane people) had nothing at all, I would always
have that dream to sustain me. So when that long awaited first royalty
cheque arrived and that dream vanished with an almost audible ‘pop,’ I
couldn’t really begrudge its leaving, because it had already served me
If your latest book, “Interim,” the second book of the Josiah Stubb trilogy, was adapted into a TV show or a film, who would you like to play the lead role?
had to get some help with this one as I’m not as up on film actors as I
used to be. A friend suggested Tom Hardy, so let’s go with him to play
What made you choose this genre?
Fiction appeals to me, so I figured that, if I’m going to sit down and
write something as lengthy as a novel – to dedicate so much of myself,
pouring my heart and guts out onto the page - it had better be about
something that I’m interested in.
How do you get ideas for plots and characters?
and characters are what make writing such a joy. Plots are usually the
product of a ‘eureka’ moment I often have when something triggers the
kernel of an idea. As far as characters go, I’ve never written any with a
preconceived idea in mind, just as I’ve never had a preconceived idea
about meeting a person. We introduce ourselves as would anyone else, and
get to know one another over the course of time.
If, as a one off, (and you could guarantee publication!)you
could write anything you wanted, is there another genre you would love
to work with and do you already have a budding plot line in mind?
began my career writing short stories, with some success, winning
awards and so on. During that time there can’t have been too many genres
that I didn’t explore. In that light, I’m not afraid of other genres,
in fact we’re old friends, and many examples can be found in in an
eclectic anthology I’m very proud of entitled “And Then It Rained.” (Note
from Diana: If "And Then It Rained" is not my favourite book of all
time, it certainly is there in the top three. Heck! What am I saying??
Thinking of the title story again and others that I love with a passion
bordering on insanity for a story, yep, it has just been promoted to
definitely my favourite book of all time!)
becoming a writer a conscious decision or something that you drifted
into (or even something so compelling that it could not be denied?) How
old were you when you first started to write seriously.
would have to say that it was compelling. Why, I’ve no idea, it’s just
something that I’ve come to accept over time. I wrote my first novel,
longhand, back in my mid to late twenties, and you have to be serious to
tackle a project like that.
Marmite? Love it or hate it?
Erm...it's an acquired taste...
Do you have any rituals and routines when writing? Your favourite cup for example or ‘that’ piece of music...??
suppose my greatest ritual is to try to clear my desk before starting a
new project. I need to keep distractions to a minimum, so that finding
that ‘centre’ is more achievable. After that, it’s pretty much whatever
works. I’ve written with the music on and with it off, in my office, in
front of the television, out on my deck at night, or in the morning
(summer and winter,) and out under the giant cottonwoods in my yard.
Each novel has had its own routine, and I’m rather curious what it will
be for my next one. Really, I’m a bit like a cat before taking a nap,
turning and turning, before finally finding the place where I’m most
(Note from Diana: Hmm. Clear? Desk? Clear desk? Nope. I don't understand those words put together in that format!)
I promise I won’t tell them the answer to this, but when you are writing, who is more important, your family or your characters?
That’s a very good question and I’m glad you asked it! Next question, please…
Other than writing full time, what would be your dream job?
I always wanted to be the next Neil Young.
(Note from Diana: Well, you can't. End of.)
Coffee or tea? Red or white?
Ooo, herbal tea, please (don’t judge,) and red.
How much of your work is planned before you start? Do you have a full draft or let it find its way?
don’t have a plan, and that includes not having a plan to not having a
plan. Sometimes I’ll write at least a partial outline, and sometimes I
won’t write one at all. It depends on the project and (I’m coming to
suspect) the phase of the moon. 😂
If you had free choice over the font your book is printed in, what font/fonts would you choose?
YOU to ask this one! Okay then, let’s see: so far Times New Roman is
working for me, but you never know what the future holds. What I can
tell you is that I’m not a fan of Helvetica. (Everyone
hates Helvetica! Printers hated Helvetica. It was the 'new big thing
and everyone wanted it', but it was expensive and hard to get hold of.)
Imagine that you could get hold of any original source document. What would it be?
The note that Lord Raglan scribbled to Lord Lucan, that caused the The Charge of the Light Brigade.
any of your characters ever shocked you and gone off on their own
adventure leaving you scratching your head??? If so how did you cope
those characters! When haven’t they shocked me? But the thing to
remember about writing is that it’s not about you, it’s about the story –
always the story – and the thing to remember about the story is that
it’s the characters who are telling it, the writer is merely the
chronicler. So in answer to your question I pretty much give them their
head, and try to keep up.
How much research do you do and do you ever go on research trips?
Historical Fiction requires extensive research…that is if you don’t
want to look like an absolute fool. Nothing drives me around the bend
more than to read such a work and find that it is riddled with
inaccuracies. Further, I feel strongly that a work of Historical Fiction
should be seen as an alternate reference book – something that takes
those dry old textbooks, that we’ve all had to endure in school, and
makes them interesting by weaving a tale through the facts.
for research trips, I often travel to where the story is taking place,
but not always. For the first book of the Josiah Stubb trilogy I went to
see the fortress of Louisbourg for myself, and then on to St. John’s
Newfoundland. For the second and third books, I travelled to Quebec
City, and then drove the length of the Gaspé Peninsula. In 2015 I flew
down to Australia and drove across the Nullarbor Plain while researching
for “Adventures Downunder” – the latest in the Charlie Smithers
authors have to contend with real characters invading our stories. Are
there any ‘real’ characters you have been tempted to prematurely kill
off or ignore because you just don’t like them or they spoil the plot?
lord no! If they spoil the plot, then it’s the plot that’s at fault.
Create another one, by all means, but if you value your credibility,
don’t alter the facts by one iota.
Are you prepared to go away from the known facts for the sake of the story and if so how do you get around this?
See above. Blasphemy!
Do you find that the lines between fact and fiction sometimes become blurred?
I certainly hope so; it’s my business to do just that.
Have you ever totally hated or fallen in love with one of your characters?
Loiyan, my first leading lady, I loved her desperately. (Note from Diana: We, the
readers, could tell the depth of feeling with which this wonderful woman
was written. It shone throughout the pages of not just the first book,
but the second and third. I will never forget her plaintive cry of
What do you enjoy reading for pleasure?
Anything, as long as it’s well written.
What drink would you recommend drinking whilst reading your latest book?
A good stiff tot of something distilled. The action gets a bit intense at times.
Last but not least... favourite author?
My idol, George MacDonald Fraser, the author of the Flashman books.
Thank you, Chuck. That was a wonderful talk.
You can read C W Lovatt's blog and find out more about him at Story River He lives in Canada, where it is cold, and is the self-appointed Writer-In-Residence of Carroll, Manitoba, (population +/- 20).
A delightfully satisfying story." ~ Book Reviewers Online
"This tale, which will appeal to all ages, carries not just one, but several important and poignant messages. Without being 'preachy,' the book lets the reader carry away a positive and life affirming precept." ~ The Review
The following is an editorial review from Book Reviewers International, for my children's story, "The Little Mouse,"release date May 25. Available to pre-order now. Many thanks to Celine Lai for her kind words.
Just a note further: While Celine states that the book is suitable for twelve years and up, that's her opinion. While each child develops differently, after consulting with someone who has studied child development, and worked with children for twenty-five years (not to mention having children and grandchildren of her own,) Wild Wolf and myself still maintain that it's suitable for five years and up.
The Little Mouse by C.W. Lovatt reviewed by Celine Published by: Wild Wolf Publishing Format: Kindle 79 pages Date of publication: 25 May 2018 – pre-order through Amazon Genres: Fiction, spiritual, animals, fantasy, children’s book REVIEW
A well written and well-crafted memorable
fantasy story for ages 12 and above, with an exciting and colorful
narrative that keeps the reader on their toes and wondering what will
happen. This wonderful story is sprinkled with amazing forest
creatures, with whom you feel as though you are right there with them as
this gripping tale un-folds.
Magic is seamlessly woven into the story
in a believable fashion, and as I read, I felt that I was traveling with
a Jedi Mouse who performed great feats of hands on healing. The themes
are quite apparent – that no-one is too small to achieve something, to
believe in oneself, people can change, and that we are all
Above all, the Little Mouse shows one
never to give up but to trust in one’s inner resources or higher
guidance, as the story takes you through rather stressful or unpleasant
scenarios, akin a little to the original story of Bambi where Bambi’s
father is shot and taken from him.
Some of the expressions or sentences are
at a reading comprehension level for the older child, and the story may
enhance a child’s vocabulary because a few words in the story may be
unknown to them. There were 2 words which I had to look up in the
dictionary, indicating the breadth of the vocabulary in this story; but I
didn’t mind doing that at all, and when I was quite young I read a lot
of books for which I did just that.
Toward the end of the story there are
quite graphic descriptions of violence toward animals of which a parent
should judge whether this would be suitable for the tender thoughts of
children younger than 12. This part of the story is integral to the
themes however, and any discomfort to the reader serves to bolster the
intent of the tale, which to me is multi-layered, being not to treat
animals as objects for the pleasure of sport, and to believe in and use
all of your natural resources and a combination of will-power to get
what you want, if it is ethical.
Altogether a delightfully satisfying
story for an adult or mature young person to read, and definitely I can
see this story a movie taking its place alongside the classics.
Very exact and descriptive words are used
which immediately paint a magical tale where all the characters, both
of the animal and human type, come to life, as unique beings; whose
fates you are gripped by.
I really enjoyed reading this story
because even though it described unpleasant real-life situations, it has
a happy ending, and it is a metaphorical story that firmly encourages
us to think about what we do from all vantage points, and to respect,
understand and care for each other, and to work together, woven into a
story of warmth and courage and companionship.
I'm very proud of my next book, to be released on May 25. Appropriate for 5 years and up, "The Little Mouse," combined with the exquisite cover and illustrations, by the gifted artist, Angel Rose, is a story that is sure to appeal to all ages. In just its first day to pre-order, it did quite well, shooting up to #1 in both Canada and the UK in their leading categories.
To titillate your mind even further, here is the blurb:
"From the creator of Charlie Smithers comes
an endearing story, reminiscent of fairy tale classics of yesteryear. Filled
with enchantment and meaning, this charming tale appeals to young and old
alike, portraying how even the least among us can change the world."