Maria and Clare’s Story …
Clare and Maria met in the summer holidays of 2009 on the north Cornish coast. Through various conversational twists and turns they ended up talking about their interests; Maria’s being in illustration and Clare’s in writing poetry. Over the next four years Clare and Maria worked most nights writing or illustrating, whilst juggling young families and careers, to create characters for their first three books. They have been working this way ever since. Their motivation to create gentle children's stories for head and heart matters remains as strong as ever, helping children to relate to or recognise their own life experiences through their various characters and themes.
Maria and Clare’s books in education
Over the years Clare and Maria’s work has grown and evolved in the education sector where Head teachers, teachers, support workers, parents, and carers have all responded extremely positively to the gentle life lessons and vibrant illustrations.
With Clare’s background in Occupational Therapy and Maria’s background as an artist, as well an English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher, their creativity strongly compliments each other. Their work addresses different aspects of emotional intelligence, values and virtues, mental health, wellbeing and care for the environment. These are currently areas of great interest and initiative raised by the government and both state and independent schools.
Primary schools are using their stories as a resource for Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) prompting good follow-on discussions that cover many curriculum topics. The stories and their messages offer good opportunities for teaching and discussion, as well as time for reflection and learning.
Clare Luther studied Occupational Therapy (OT) at Oxford Brookes University. Clare worked as an OT and Life Coach, both in the public and private sector until 2013. Clare now spends her time running a dachshund hotel and writing, having held a passion for poetry writing since her teenage years. Clare lives in London with her husband, two children and their miniature smooth black and tan dachshund, Wotsit.
Wotsit qualified as a Pets As Therapy dog in October 2018. Pets As Therapy is a national charity founded in 1983 that provides a visiting service in hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues all across the UK. www.petsastherapy.org.
Maria studied Fine Art and History of Art at Goldsmith’s College, London and is a successful painter and illustrator. Maria regularly exhibits her work in a number of galleries in the South West and divides her time between Dartmoor and North Cornwall.
Maria lives with her husband, three children and their black Labrador/ Collie/ Whippet cross (she thinks), Skye.
Skye loves walking on Dartmoor and is a part of Maria's family.