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 did you want to be when you were a child?
A Professional tennis player... and I became one!
Q: What is your favourite word?
Serenity. It sounds like what it is.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Sherry trifle and cheese and mushroom omelette... not together!
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Oh, much younger - 16.
Q: What were you like at school?
I think I was quiet and shy, and alright at most subjects. But no one imagined that I would become a writer one day & an artist... not my parents, teachers, friends, or me! It was not considered at all by anyone. I wasn't particularly good at English... I was creative but mainly on the tennis court.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
I asked my family and they said - happy... eccentric... kind... creative... beardy... balding
Q: What makes you cringe?
Raw onions, sliced.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Hard to say because I have a lot of really good laughs. As a family we laugh a lot. I love a good comedy film. I watch Fawlty Towers and Only Fools & Horses quite often.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
Can I have three, please? Thank you. My laptop where I do all my writing. My oil paints. My tennis racquets. My guitar. (Sorry... that's four)
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Play guitar. I'm always picking it up to practice or begin working on a new song. Play tennis... I still play club matches, play for Kent over 60 team, and play a few tournaments each year. In 2013 I won the British Over 60s Doubles title at Wimbledon on grass! It's a great hobby.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
Eating cheese and honey sandwiches.
Q: What do you day dream about?
I don't day dream much. But I do let the book I am writing sit in my mind so that the events play themselves out and new ideas pop up. It's very relaxed... really I'm observing it happen. It's wonderful.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
I think, someone who can ride the ups and downs of life but retain an inner calm and happiness. Also, lack of conceit, honesty, sincere friendliness.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
When I was about 18 and starting my tennis playing career I practised with Torban Ulrich, a top professional tennis player. Afterwards, I asked him, "What should I do to become a top tennis player?" He paused for a quite a long time. While I was waiting for the answer, I was thinking he might say, "Improve your backhand" or something like that. Finally, he said, "Live." I understood it to mean, - live fully, eg take opportunities, develop talents, enjoy life.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I would really like to enjoy more foods... for example onions!
Q: What has life taught you?
If you work hard at something you can far surpass the expectations of others, and yourself. When we are awake to it, nature is beautiful beyond belief... therefore, take time to look, hear, taste, touch and smell. Be open-minded to new possibilities.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I started writing when I was 41, so that's 17 years now. But my first book was published 4 years ago.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
I write wherever I go, always carrying my laptop with me. At home, I write in my chalet in the garden. I sometimes call in my Creative Studio where I write and do my artwork for my books: painting, ink drawings etc. It's the perfect den!
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is that it is so enjoyable. To be creative is very fulfilling. If I am not being creative I feel I am not living properly, and writing and painting is an excellent way express creativity. The worst thing is having to do other things, like paperwork, when really I should be writing or illustrating.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
They appear in my mind from a deeper place. They just pop into the mind out of nowhere. They come from that deeper creative place within us, which everyone has but not all use or know how to use.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I read a poem I love, listen to music or relax. I often have to wait for ideas to come... maybe a day or two. It's really not a problem because it is part of the creative process and I know how to let things move forwards in a natural way.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
I can't remember what it was called, but there was a book of short story detective stories which I loved.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Can I have a poem, please? Thanks. 'The Cloud' by Shelley.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write... short stories or books, doesn't matter. If you write, and love it, you will improve. Also, get the hang of revising your work to improve it until you get the feeling that it's just right.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
When the children of families of friends loved the first draft of my first book. This was so encouraging that I then thought I could become a writer.
Candara's Gift (Book 1 of The Kingdom of Gems tilogy)
The Silver Well (Book 2 of The Kingdom of Gems tilogy)
The Glass Prison (Book 3 of The Kingdom of Gems tilogy)