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 fairly average... apart from at art, which was my best subject, and maths, which I was rubbish at! I was so scared at admitting I couldn't do maths, that I remember trading work with a friend. I did her drawing, whilst she did my maths! I thought I was being enterprising, but I have a feeling my teacher thought otherwise! I found out years later that I have dyslexia, which means I have a memory like a sieve and have difficulty working out instructions quickly and then keeping them in my head. I still can't do my times tables, but I don't worry about it now. There's nothing stupid about asking if you don't know an answer, and EVERYTHING stupid about pretending you know if you don't!
Q: Which three words describe you best?
intense, silly, impatient
Q: What is your favourite word?
The french for dustbin is, 'poubelle'. That makes me chuckle. I also like words that make your mouth feel nice when you say them; like 'grumble,' 'mumble,' and 'buzzzzzzzzz!'
Q: What makes you cringe?
People (especially myself) saying thoughtless things, accidentally. Me: 'I hate hats!' (Said whilst standing next to someone, wearing a large and obvious hat!) I'm always putting my foot in my mouth I'm afraid, and it never hesitates to make me squirm.
Q: What are you afraid of?
I used to be afraid of the dark. I'm not anymore... well, mostly, anyway!
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
I have a teddy bear who's head always turns back-to-front. He has a lot of fur missing, and he makes a growling sound if you tip him forward that actually sounds more like a bottom burp! I've had him since I was little, and love him dearly.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I'm terrible at starting things, but not finishing them. Most of my hobbies are short-lived and leave various debris all over my house. I have knitting needles, a cello, a Chinese calligraphy set, and more- all gathering dust. I'm convinced that one day I'll set to and knit a wardrobe, compose a concerto and write tomorrow's most profound proverb. So far, no luck! However, I have done martial arts (first Taekwondo, and then, Brazilian Jujitsu) for a couple of years. I'd go loopy without doing some sort of exercise, and I really enjoy the challenge of martial arts.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
Oh gosh, I'm not telling you those! You REALLY don't want to know!
Q: What’s your favourite food?
cake and curries... although, possibly not together...!
Q: What do you day dream about?
everything and anything. I do draw pictures in my head an awful lot. If I see someone with an interesting face, I try to draw them in my head too. It's probably quite a rude habit really!
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I like the idea of Child Psychology. The way people think is quite extraordinary, and extremely interesting. Failing that, 'Cake Taster' sounds like a brilliant job to me!
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
This is a tricky one. What if they didn't live up to your expectations? I'd love to have watched the artist, Egon Schiele, at work. However, I think I'd be far too nervous to talk to him. Stephen Fry's rather marvellous too.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Hard work, ability to make others feel good about themselves, determination, and wit. Sorry, that's a few, isn't it?
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Do your best. I think if you've done your best, whatever happens afterward, you can have no regrets.
Q: What has life taught you?
not to waste time. If you want something, even if it's hard or you're scared, get out there and go for it anyway!
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
all over the place, but they'll most likely come to me when I'm in the shower. Or during the other few moments, I don't have a pen to write them down! Grr!
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
I think all of them, really. My characters are mostly different versions of myself. I like drawing the grumpy or naughty ones best though... and the monsters.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
'Trouble For Trumpets'. The illustrations, by Peter Cross, were so elaborate and beautiful. I STILL think it's the best illustrated book I've ever seen. It'll stay with me always.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
'Where The Wild Things Are' is the perfect balance of story and pictures. I'm an enormous Harry Potter fan too. I listen to Harry Potter audio books whenever I find drawing difficult. They always inspire me.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I think my advice to everyone would be to try, try and try again. Whatever career you want to go into, keep trying always. The reward will be worth it. I wouldn't change what I do for the world.
Hodder Children's Books
george and ghost