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?
I was a bit like a mouse with attitude - mostly I was quiet and meek, but then something would happen and I'd break out and go wild.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be good at games like my older sister, but the truth is that I was rubbish at them. I'm not completely hopeless at badminton now, but that's about it.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Hopeful. Inquisitive. Insomniac.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What are you afraid of?
I'm a bit claustrophobic.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
I laughed (at myself) about eight minutes ago. I laugh a lot every day, it keeps me sane.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A teddy bear that first belonged to my sister, and now to me. He's called Pink Teddy although he has absolutely none of his original (and very stylish) pink fur left, so he wears a pair of overalls and a jumper to keep out the cold.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I love listening to music, going to movies and plays, growing veggies, and cooking meals for friends.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
All my habits seem very sensible to me, so you'd have to ask someone who was secretly being driven mad by any - or all - of them.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Apples - I love 'em, especially new season Discovery and Cox's Orange apples. A cool crisp new apple is a complete delight. I'm eating one right now!
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
In some parallel universe I am a famous naturalist living in a tent somewhere on the African plains, studying wild dogs and writing at night by lamplight.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Mostly younger when I think about it, which isn't often - but if I don't get enough sleep I feel as old as dirt and twice as grumpy.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
I get so hopelessly shy when I meet someone I admire that it's probably not a good idea to plan this. But if I did, it would be one of the writers whose work I love, like John Updike or Anne Tyler.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Courage and kindness
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
It has to be Africa - fascinating in every way, and I dream of going back one day and seeing more of it.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
To have faith in myself.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I'd like to have a sweet and sunny nature, and longer legs.
Q: What has life taught you?
The importance of courage and kindness.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
Well, I started writing when I was three, so it's been a fair while - although I had a long break being a teacher, and a librarian, and a book publisher. I only started writing almost full time a few years ago.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Mostly at my desk in London, looking out on to a railway line with trains, and foxes, and lots more stuff going on to distract me.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
I get the best ideas walking in the park near my flat - there's a particular spot where ideas just spring into my mind as though they've been lying in wait for me to pass.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I don't get that, although I do have bouts of writers' indecision and writers' lack of confidence. The walks in the park sort out both of those.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
'Stuart Little' by E.B. White - and I still think it's terrific.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
'The Sterkham Handshake' by Susan Price - it's so inventive and clever.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I'd say - write something every day. Carry a notebook around with you all the time, to jot down ideas when you have them (and you will have them if you carry the notebook).
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