Clémentine Beauvais talks about her Sesame Seade series and SCAM ON THE CAM, as the hilarious, impertinent and brilliant Sesame Seade is back in her third adventure!
Clémentine, please tell us about your new book, SCAM ON THE CAM: A Sesame Seade Mystery #3.
Scam on the Cam sees Sesame sleuthing in an environment that, normally, isn’t exactly to her taste: a sports competition! More precisely, the most prestigious English sports competition: the annual Oxford-Cambridge rowing race on the Thames. This year, the two squads are training hard to win the race . . . but members of the Cambridge crew are falling mysteriously ill. Is Oxford secretly poisoning them, or are they just catching gross diseases from the river? Sesame decides to investigate.
Where did you originally get your inspiration for the character of Sesame Seade?
I was walking around Cambridge and thinking that I would have loved to be a child there—to climb up the old walls and explore the old staircases, passageways and old rooms. I thought it was a great place to set a mystery.
Sesame’s adventures take place in and around Cambridge University in England. What are the challenges and/or rewards about writing about this setting?
One big challenge was to make the book accessible to people who’ve never been to Cambridge—but after all, it’s like making a story accessible to people who’ve never been to Narnia . . . Sarah Horne’s amazing drawings and maps help get a sense of the place. One of the biggest rewards is that you get to live (fictionally . . .) all your fantasies about the place. In real life, you think, “I could find an old secret passage that’s never been used since the Middle Ages . . .” and in fiction . . . you can!
What do you hope young readers will gain by reading SCAM ON THE CAM?
Some moral edification, a heightened sense of purpose in life and solid knowledge about rowing. But much more seriously, I hope they find it funny, thrilling and quirky. It’s my favorite of the three Sesame books!
What advice would you give young authors?
Try to finish what you’ve started. It’s very tempting to give up on a piece of writing because you've fallen in love with another idea, or because you’re bored with the first one. Try to push through that wall of boredom and temptation. It makes you so happy when you first finish a big piece of writing, like a whole story or even a novel. It’s the best feeling, and it’s worth working hard towards it. Don’t expect it to be amazing the first time around, but try again . . .
About the Author
Clémentine Beauvais was born in Paris, France, where she became interested in children’s books at a very young age, and never put them down. She is the author of 15 (or so) children’s books in French and English. Clémentine is also a researcher in children’s literature theory and the philosophy of childhood at Cambridge University. She lives in the United Kingdom.
Books by Clémentine Beauvais
Gargoyles Gone AWOL: A Sesame Seade Mystery #2, Trade Binding
Scam on the Cam: A Sesame Seade Mystery #3, Trade Binding
Sleuth on Skates: A Sesame Seade Mystery #1, Trade Binding
Sleuth on Skates: A Sesame Seade Mystery #1, Paperback