The Author Hotline
being developed by CW4K, or Creative Writing 4 Kids. They are the company behind a website that enables children to create and publish their own stories online. In its first year it has signed up over 2000 members and has been enthusiastically received by children, parents and teachers. In fact the response has been so encouraging that they are planning a huge expansion of its services. Embedding The Author Hotline into the site is part of that expansion...
For more information on CW4K CLICK HERE
Q: What were you like at school?
At school I was a bit of a nerd and an extrovert. I know that sounds like a conflict of interest, but, I really enjoyed school, especially Science and English, and I was part of the drama group, always trying to get the lead in the school play but never succeeding, not that I'm bitter; much.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
So many things: an ice-skater, a bank manger, an actress, an archaeologist, an astrophysicist, a theatre director, an English teacher. Different things at different times, but what I love about writing is that I get to be each of these things and more.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
I asked my partner, Jason, and our children about this one. Jason said messy, moody, and miserable. But this is because he doesn't understand the organized chaos of my filing system or that "lack of melancholy is a lack of intelligence" My Children were much more helpful with creative, thoughtful, and intelligent coming up tops.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Schwarzwelder Kirshtorte! Okay it's two words but one thing, one very yummy thing, and I love the way it sounds. Schwarzwelder Kirshtorte. You know your going to get something good!
Q: What makes you cringe?
People biting ice-cubes or ice-lollies. Sensitive teeth you see. In the summer my children like to terrorise me by chasing me with ice-lollies whilst biting in to them, the beasts!
Q: What are you afraid of?
I'm only truly afraid of one thing but it's too scary so I'm not going to tell you what it is.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Last Friday. At about 17.20. Friday's are a good giggly day.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
Possession, as in a thing? or an attribute? Um that's a tough one as I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to shiny things and shoes and books and pens and ... you get the idea. But if I had to choose one ... um... my telescope. And an attribute, determination, it's an important one to have and will get you through most of the things life has to offer.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
When I have some me time I like to run or do yoga. But my main hobby is astronomy.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Besides Schwartswalder Kirschtorte! Jason's leek and potato soup. Apple crumple and custard, pasta, rustic bread, mushrooms, olives, plums from the garden, brioche, Oh I could be here all day, pretty much anything I'm a vegetarian so no meat(this includes fish!).
Q: What do you day dream about?
Stories mainly. The characters from what ever book I'm working on. I like to test them; put them in to situations which are outside of the story and see how they react. It's a good way of getting to know your characters.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
That depends, most of the time I feel younger but then I look at my eldest daughter, who is almost a teenager, and I feel old and crusty!
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Stephen Hawkings or Stephen King? Stephen Hawkings or Stephen King? Stephen Hawkings or Stephen King? No I can't decide, sorry.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Free thinking. Someone who takes the time to know their own mind and find their own place in the world. People who find things out for themselves rather then accepting what they are told by others.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
If it doesn't work it doesn't mean that it's broken; your just using it the wrong way. This works on lots of levels.
Q: What has life taught you?
Life has taught me that not everything has to be hard and difficult, but, if everything was easy everyone would be doing it. Sometimes its worth a little bit extra to do it properly.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I've been actively writing for almost five years.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
No, no specific moment. It crept up on me when I wasn't really expecting it to. But it didn't scare me it took me by the hand and said 'see, you wally, this is what you have been looking for; this is who you are.' and I slapped myself for not seeing it before.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
I have a little desk which I retire to every afternoon. My children are home-educated so I have a little sign on my door which says " Writing times: 2-4 daily DO NOT DISTURB! unless there is a major incident, massive blood-loss, cataclysmic catastrophe or the outbreak of war occurs. Thank you.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is the adventure. Not knowing exactly what is going to happen in a story until my characters show me. The worst bit, not much house work gets done when I'm stuck in a book and my family tend to have a moan that they only see me when I need food!
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Lots of places. But always real life even when something appears whimsical or fantastic it will have its essence rooted in reality. I often pick up little globular's of ideas and the go off in my head finding like minded ideas and gathering mass until they are big enough to become the starting of a story.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
luckily I have never had writers block but I do suffer from overflow sometimes. On occasion I have more then two stories drifting around in my head. At the moment I have five and I have to find room for all of them. It can be hard to concentrate on one story when you have another one or two saying "Hey how about me!"
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
The witches by Roald Dahl. It's a fantastic book and the grand high witch is so marvellously wicked!
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Study your craft. Find your voice and let it sing. Stephen King says to write what you love and love what you write. I think that's good advice to keep in mind when your writing, but I don't think you need to do the two simultaneously.
Ninja Nan and Sidekick Grandad
Mauve Square Publishing