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

Damian Harvey

http://www.damianharvey.co.uk
author@damianharvey.co.uk
To download this profile page, click HERE 


Q: What were you like at school?

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At school I was a little bit shorter than I am now and a whole lot quieter. I was what you might call a 'late bloomer' or perhaps a 'could do better sort of pupil'.

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

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I thought it would have been really cool if I could be a spy or a secret agent so me and my friends would sneak around like spies... we had lots of fun.

Q: What makes you cringe?

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Lots of things make me cringe, but here's three... 1. Stepping on slugs in my bare feet (I try to avoid doing this whenever I can). 2. Adults saying they don't read books and then wondering why their children don't read books!!! 3. People that suck all of the juice out of worms - disgusting.

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

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We try to have a good laugh as often as we can and we certainly have a good laugh at least once a day. Sometimes we find ourselves laughing at things that other people might not find funny - but that just makes us laugh even more.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

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The thing I treasure most is spending happy times with my wife, Vicky...

Q: What do you do as a hobby?

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I'm very lucky to have a job that involves two of my favourite things - reading and writing stories so I don't really have time for a hobby. When we're not working though there are lots of things we love to do - it might be lying on our favourite beach in the sun and a nice picnic, going out for a nice romantic meal, or playing a game together on the wii (at the moment we are having fun playing Lego Lord of the Rings)

Q: What’s your favourite food?

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At the moment our favourite meal consists of stuffed peppers with a balsamic glaze - strips of pork cooked in our wok with cherry tomatoes, shallots, oyster mushrooms and shitake mushrooms... with a little bit of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top - we also have some olive bread with balsamic vinegar... it's YUM!!!

Q: What do you day dream about?

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When I was little, I spent a lot of time daydreaming - but now I have a job where I get to turn my daydreams into books. It's brilliant!

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

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I don't really feel any different than I have ever done so I suppose I must feel younger than my current age.

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

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Places that have been created in the imagination of other authors... these places can be fantastical and full of danger and adventure, life and death, love and kindness, hate and war - but they are always safe places to go.

Q: Which three words describe you best?

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I had to ask my wife, Vicky, for help with this question. She said: Handsome, Generous and Funny!!! Isn't she lovely...

Q: What strange habits do you have?

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I spend a lot of time thinking about imaginary people, creatures and places and putting them all together to make interesting stories... What could be stranger than that?

Q: What has life taught you?

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Life is too short for you to spend it being unhappy and only you have the power to change that. Live, Laugh and Love...

Q: What is your favourite word?

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My Favourite word is Serendipity... this means a fortunate coincidence or a happy accident. It's a word that is very special to my wife, Vicky, and myself as we were very lucky to have met when and where we did... it was a meeting that changed our lives. Perfect!

Q: What are you afraid of?

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The answer to this question could end up sounding really serious so instead, I will tell you that when I was very little I thought that I was afraid of the dark... but then I realised it wasn't the dark that I was afraid of at all - it was all those creepy crawly creatures that slither and slide through the shadows... Aarghh!!! Here they come!

Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?

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I'm not a very outrageous person but last summer Vicky painted my toenails to match hers (bright pink)... it was fine until we went for a walk on the beach in bare feet. I got some very funny looks off people.

Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?

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My socks... and I do... I change them every day (sometimes more than once).

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

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A deep sea diver would be fun but there's too many things in the sea that can eat and sting you so that would probably put me off a little bit.

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

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Stop messing about and get on with what you are supposed to be doing... it's easy to find other things to do when you are supposed to be doing something else.

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

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There are lots of best things... Seeing a story being brought to life by the illustrations that the wonderfully talented artists produce. Having a new book published and getting the first copy through the post. Having a job where you don't always have to get dressed in the morning (you can stay in your pyjamas). Meeting people that have read you stories and who love them. One of the worst things is not knowing if anyone is going to like what you have written. If publishers don't like it they won't make it into a book. If readers don't like it they won't buy or borrow your books from the library.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child?

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I have lots of favourites, but the first book I bought with my own pocket money was Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown... I loved lots of other books too - Mrs Pepperpot and the Magic Wood, Fantastic Mr Fox, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Brainstorm and lots more... I also loved comics like the Beano and 2000AD.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

snap

Read lots, write lots, and have fun. Don't worry about getting it right first time - just make sure you write. I'd also recommend reading what you've written out loud - it doesn't have to be read to anyone else but reading it out loud can help you hear whether things make sense - it can also help you with your punctuation.

Q: How long have you been a writer?

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I've been writing books for children for about 12 or 13 years now but I was interested in being a writer for quite a long time before that... I just didn't actually do much writing.

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

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It's never easy to say exactly where ideas come from as they often just pop into your head when least expected. Sometimes it can be because you have read something in another book, seen something on television or heard something someone has said... Quite often though, ideas come to me from thinking about characters who seem to just come to life in my mind.

Q: Where do you do your writing?

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I do most of my writing at home either sitting on the bed propped up with pillows and cushions, sitting at the table in the dining room or sitting on the settee.

Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?

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I can identify with a couple of characters that I'm writing about at the moment - one is a mad scientist and the other a young boy. I'm not like either of them but there are certainly things about both of them that I can identify with... I can't tell you any more than that at the moment.

Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?

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I don't really get what people call "writer's block". I do get stuck sometimes and I find it difficult to find the right ending or the right name or the right path for a story to follow. If thinking about it doesn't help I will write part of the story that I do know or even put the story to one side and work on a different story. Doing this often lets the problem sort itself out in my mind.

Q: What book do you wish you had written?

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I wish I'd finished writing the book that I'm writing at the moment and that everyone loved it and wanted more

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