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?
Not really there. There was a comic book character called Dilly Dream, who lived with her head in the clouds and like me she wore glasses and had dark hair. The girls always called me “Dilly”.I was good at learning but terrible at games. School was not a happy place for me.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
It varied but was always sane and sensible. Sometimes I wanted to be a famous film star and at others a tennis champion or a ballet dancer or a brilliant Shakespearean actress. Writing never came into it.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Fun, imaginative and friendly.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
People who can’t stop talking and don’t realise they are boring.
Q: What are you afraid of?
I am afraid of anger, even my own, or particularly my own. Also I am terrified of cruel people and of fanatics who pursue their own ends regardless.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
With a truly wonderful friend, who is dying but still loves life and shows an interest in everyone and everything and tells jokes and roars with laughter.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
My books, I know that is boring but it is so.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Read, go to films, theatre, opera, ballet and concerts. I also like to cook, to walk and to travel and I love eating and talking to people
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Beef Stroganov – I love the mushrooms and sour cream and sherry flavour, the beef is rather irrelevant.
Q: What do you day dream about?
The usual being tall and beautiful, with long, long legs, being admired and winning lots of prizes.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
For several years I was purchasing officer buying chamber pots for Her Majesty’s prisons – honest.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I would like to run a theatre, or a cinema or do picture research.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Much younger, still a teenager.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Mark Twain, who wrote HUCKLEBERY FIN, he was a very witty man, I am sure I would laugh and laugh.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I would love not to have flat feet and bad eyes.
Q: What has life taught you?
It is always more satisfying to do everything 100% and not to try to get away with whatever you can get away with.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
When the children I taught decided they preferred the stories I told to those they found in books.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
In my study, on the kitchen table or sometimes in the local café.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The worst things are the isolation and the financial insecurity. The best is when you know you have got it right and that people will want to read your book.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
From life. I am always on the lookout for unusual events that I can scoop up and use in a story. Sometimes it is something that happens to me, sometimes it is what I read, or see on TV or overhear in a conversation on a bus. I confess I get a lot of my ideas from other people’s books, plays, films, etc but I always do my own thing with them. For instance I saw a film THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO in which an actor comes out of the screen to keep a lonely lady company. I liked that idea, so I had a dragon walk out of his book and refuse to go back until the story was changed and he didn’t get killed.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Read, watch TV, go for walks and think, look out of the window.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
THE SWISH OF THE CURTAIN – about a group of children who set up their own theatre company and all get to be very famous. It played to all my childhood fantasies.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
THE SILVER CROWN by Robert O’Brien
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read a lot, take an interest in everything around you, and listen hard to how people talk. If you want to write good dialogue you need to know people’s individual voices. Also learn to empathize with where people are at and understand why they behave as they do, it is essential in both writing and life.
OVER THE RAINBOW
THE MOST MAGNIFICENT MOSQUE
THE PRINCE WHO THOUGHT HE WAS A ROOSTER AND OTHER JEWISH STORIES
FRANK N. STEIN AND THE GREAT, GREEN, GREEDY GARBAGE MONSTER
THERE’S A TROLL AT THE BOTTOM OF MY GARDEN
VLAD THE DRAC