Authors Hotline - Where authors and their readers connect
CW4K

The Author Hotline

is 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

Stephen George

Anne Fine

http://www.annefine.co.uk

To download this profile page, click HERE 


Q: What were you like at school?

snap

Dead shy in primary because I was younger than everyone else. Much more confident in my secondary school.

Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?

snap

Nothing. I honestly think I didnít truly believe that children really did turn into those grey boring adults.

Q: Which three words describe you best?

snap

Determined, cheerful, untidy.

Q: What is your favourite word?

snap

Galleon. But I also love the word silver and the word frangipani, so it was hard to choose an absolute favourite.

Q: What makes you cringe?

snap

People flaunting their expensive possessions. People spitting in public. I think that is disgusting. Litter left lying all over. People sniffing on trains because they have their headphones on and so don't realise what a noise they're making. (As you can guess, I spend a lot of time cringing. Perhaps it's as well that I stay home so much, writing my books.)

Q: What are you afraid of?

snap

Running out of good books to read - but, mercifully, it never seems to happen.

Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?

snap

This morning, when someone sent a fan letter about Billís New Frog.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

snap

If there was a fire, or a flood, I'd let out my beloved dog LULU and then run for my drawer of photos of my children and grandchildren. And once that was safely pulled out and rescued, I'd probably go back for my two Carnegie medals, my two Whitbread Awards, my two Nibbies, my Smarties and Nasen awards and my Children's Laureate medallion. I'd reckon all the furniture and curtains and stuff could easily be replaced, but those couldn't.

Q: What do you do as a hobby?

snap

I read. And I take my dog for walks. And I do love films. I watch a lot in the cinema, and quite a few more at home. I also like one or two of those television half hour comedies. Some of them, like the Simpsons, are BRILLIANTLY written.

Q: What strange habits do you have?

snap

I bite my nails till they bleed. (Thatís not strange in itself, but itís a little odd for someone my age). I can't recycle any printed matter until I've read it. That's an odd habit. But I have had a huge number of odd ideas for books, and bits of books, from doing it. Even the whole idea for Flour Babies came from a tiny snippet in a magazine about a California school.

Q: Whatís your favourite food?

snap

Fish, unless Iím cooking, in which case itís toasted cheese because thatís quicker and easier. I have occasional cravings for chocolate. My favourite breakfast is crunchy granola, and I make my own in huge quantities.

Q: What do you day dream about?

snap

I never day dream. I always end up doing or reading something instead.

Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?

snap

I have felt thirty ever since I was thirty. Thereís a poem by Anne Sexton with the line, ďIn a dream, you are never eighty.Ē

Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?

snap

Moral courage. And empathy - which means being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes, and think, 'How would s/he feel?' It is a lack of empathy, for example, that leads to bullying and cruelty. I tried to write about that in a comedy called The Angel of Nitshill Road, for 6-10 year olds. (And for older and younger, if you're being bullied!)

Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?

snap

Istanbul. I went when I was twenty, years and years ago. And it was so exotic and different: the spicy smells, the markets, the beautiful strange mosques, the clothes. I had never been anywhere so 'foreign'. I've been to all sorts of places since, but never had such a striking feeling of being in a strange and timeless land.

Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

snap

ďWork out what you like doing most in all the world, and then look round for someone who will pay you to do it.Ē

Q: What has life taught you?

snap

To know when to knock off and go to bed with a good book. Sometimes enough is enough, and you just need time to gather yourself together quietly and alone.

Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

snap

If I could sing, I would have loved to have been an opera singer. I think that must be the most wonderful job in the world, even though it sounds exhausting, with all the travel, and your work booked years ahead. But to sing for a living? Bliss! Sadly, I can't (as the Americans say) carry a tune in a bag. So that was out. I like driving. If it weren't for global warming, I might like to become a chauffeur. But now I think the people I'd drive should really go by train.

Q: How long have you been a writer?

snap

Since the day in my early twenties when, because of a blizzard, I couldnít get to the library to change my books, so sat down and began to write one.

Q: Where do you do your writing?

snap

Anywhere, so long as itís quiet. (I donít mind industrial banging, or traffic. Itís music and voices I canít write against.)

Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?

snap

The best is the silence and the control.

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

snap

All round. What I see, snippets I read, things I overhear, worries on my mind. Anything and everything. The craft is to get to recognise how you can use it.

Q: What book do you wish you had written?

snap

The Once and Future King (all 4 books of it) by T H White.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

snap

Read, read, read. Every book you read will turn you into a better author later. Then sit down and write the book that you yourself would most like to read. (So often, a writerís first book is their very best).

Search Other Profiles
My Books
  • Nag Club

    Nag Club

    ISBN
    9780744597967
    Published By
    Walker
    Status
    In Print

  • Jenniferís Diary

    Jenniferís Diary

    ISBN
    9780140380606
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • The Angel of Nitshill Road

    The Angel of Nitshill Road

    ISBN
    9780749709747
    Published By
    Egmont
    Status
    In Print

  • Crummy Mummy and Me

    Crummy Mummy and Me

    ISBN
    9780140328769
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • The More the Merrier

    The More the Merrier

    ISBN
    9780440865858
    Published By
    Random House
    Status
    In Print

  • Step by Wicked Step

    Step by Wicked Step

    ISBN
    9780140366471
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • Flour Babies

    Flour Babies

    ISBN
    9780582292598
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • Up on Cloud Nine

    Up on Cloud Nine

    ISBN
    9780552554657
    Published By
    Random House
    Status
    In Print

  • The Book of the Banshee

    The Book of the Banshee

    ISBN
    9780140347043
    Published By
    Random House
    Status
    In Print

  • The Tulip Touch

    The Tulip Touch

    ISBN
    9780140378085
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print