About Claire


Hello! I’m Claire Barker and I live on a wild and windy fringe of North Devon, England.

For many years I lived on a little old farm where I grew vegetables, apples and sunflowers. I herded pigs, sheep, chickens, geese and children all day long.

Now I write magical stories, tucked away inside my shepherd’s hut with nature all around me.

When I was little I didn’t understand that telling stories could be a job. All I knew was that stories – whether it was writing, reading silently or aloud – made me very happy indeed. I never ran out of ideas and would often joke that I could make a story out of anything; a nut, a leaf, a strand of hair. My imagination has always been like a gushing tap. Both my great-great grandfather and great-great uncle were traditional Irish storytellers (seanchaidhthe, which sounds a bit like shannakee), so maybe it runs in the family.

While I was figuring this out, I did various things before I became an author. I have a degree in English Literature and History and an HNC in Illustration. I’ve been an higher level teaching assistant, an English tutor, a waitress, a childminder, an adult literacy volunteer, a puppeteer and a painter. I once even had a job untangling the fur of Persian cats in a spooky mansion.

I was a very shy little girl and would eat nothing but fishfingers until I was seven years old.

My favourite things are trees, animals, children and wrestling with words until they do as they are told.

If you would like to know about my typical writing day, here is a link to a blog post I wrote for the Faber Children’s site. I paint a bit too.

The Hare and the Harvest Moon by Claire Barker

Here’s a podcast I recorded with Jo of Library Girl and Book Boy https://anchor.fm/librarygirl/episodes/An-interview-with-the-PickleWitch-and-Knitbone-Pepper-author–Claire-Barker-e8ap8l?fbclid=IwAR0Zz35G4kuKTrfzbiPFdqS9oLcH9Vp648pVPo3OcuGHmirBEgN8qTTlCTI There are some children reviews, right at the end too.