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

Daniel Blythe

http://www.danielblythe.com
danielblythe@blueyonder.co.uk
To download this profile page, click HERE 


Q: What were you like at school?

snap

Quite shy and geeky. Studious and not at all sporty. Even at a selective boys' grammar school, you could be teased for being "swotty" so I had to keep my head down. Hating rugby was a distinct disadvantage - organised games were hell on earth, freezing cold, muddy torture for two afternoons a week. I was happy to leave school. Never looked back, never been back!

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

snap

A writer - always. From as early as I can recall.

Q: Which three words describe you best?

snap

Creative, restless, trustworthy.

Q: What is your favourite word?

snap

Mellifluous.

Q: What makes you cringe?

snap

Bad TV, especially when you can see the cogs of the plot grinding or the dialogue is ear-crunchingly awful. People using Americanisms like "24/7".

Q: What are you afraid of?

snap

Failure.

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

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Probably at something one of my children said or did.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

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In practical terms it has to be my computer, or at least the stuff on it! But I keep special things the children have written or drawn and I have scrapbooks going back to 2000.

Q: What do you day dream about?

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All sorts of things...

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

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Something musical. I'd need to learn an instrument first, though...

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

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Oh, younger - much younger...

Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

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I don't know, but I'd rather meet them alive, whoever it is. Meeting people dead can be socially embarrassing.

Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?

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Tenacity and the ability to turn talent into success.

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

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My head.

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

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Writing is a combination of talent, luck and hard work, and the only one you control is the work.

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

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I'd like to be better at what I do and even more successful.

Q: What has life taught you?

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It's not over yet.

Q: How long have you been a writer?

snap

For as long as I can remember - I was always scribbling on bits of paper, then in exercise books... then as a teenager, hammering stuff out on typewriters or drawing comics... But if you mean professionally, then since 1993 when my first "Doctor Who" book was published!

Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?

snap

I can't pinpoint it. I've always known!

Q: Where do you do your writing?

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In my attic office at home, at my cluttered desk.

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

snap

Best: being your own boss, in control of your own creation and time. The beautiful freedom. Worst: the continual uncertainty and constant need to justify yourself, and being rubbished by people who think they know better but don't.

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

snap

I have folders full of ideas. Some come out of my head fully-formed, while others are based on people or situations with details tweaked or changed. I'm always thinking "What would have happened if so-and-so had reacted differently?"

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

snap

The narrator in "Losing Faith" is the nearest fictional "version" of me, but there are bits of me in all my main protagonists... even those who are not my own, like the Doctor!

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

snap

I go back over the previous day's writing and diligently try to edit it... Who am I kidding? I listen to cheap pop music, drink coffee and play Scrabble on Facebook.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child?

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"The Hobbit", and all the "Doctor Who" books, plus the Jennings books by Anthony Buckeridge and Just William books by Richmal Crompton.

Q: What book do you wish you had written?

snap

Anything by Iain Banks. The man is an irritating genius, and even if he has the odd off day I can still appreciate his skill.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

snap

Read a lot and write a lot! Read things you might not choose to read - anything and everything. And keep trying, and keep getting better. Lots of people write very well but are not quite good enough to get published. You just have to keep on with it. Listen to the way people speak so that you write convincing dialogue. Look at the way published books start a story, and how they pull the reader in and introduce characters. Look at the way they tell different scenes from different characters' points of view and try to learn from that. Don't let anyone make you write in a boring or formulaic way just to pass an exam. What will make your writing special will be your unique 'voice'.

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My Books
  • Doctor Who: The Dimension Riders

    Doctor Who: The Dimension Riders

    ISBN
    0426203976
    Status
    Out of Print

  • Doctor Who: Infinite Requiem

    Doctor Who: Infinite Requiem

    ISBN
    0426204379
    Status
    Out of Print

  • The Cut

    The Cut

    ISBN
    0140267999
    Status
    Out of Print

  • Losing Faith

    Losing Faith

    ISBN
    024114032
    Status
    Out of Print

  • The Encyclopaedia of Classic 80s Pop

    The Encyclopaedia of Classic 80s Pop

    ISBN
    0749005343
    Published By
    Allison & Busby
    Status
    In Print

  • The Encyclopaedia of Classic 80s Pop: 2nd ed

    The Encyclopaedia of Classic 80s Pop: 2nd ed

    ISBN
    0749083115
    Published By
    Allison & Busby
    Status
    In Print

  • I Hate Christmas

    I Hate Christmas

    ISBN
    074908216X
    Published By
    Allison & Busby
    Status
    In Print

  • Dadlands

    Dadlands

    ISBN
    1841126799
    Published By
    Capstone-Wiley
    Status
    In Print

  • This is the Day (trade pbk)

    This is the Day (trade pbk)

    ISBN
    978-0749081645
    Published By
    Allison & Busby
    Status
    In Print

  • This is the Day (pbk)

    This is the Day (pbk)

    ISBN
    978-07490-7920-8
    Published By
    Allison & Busby
    Status
    In Print

  • Doctor Who: Autonomy

    Doctor Who: Autonomy

    ISBN
    978-1-846-07759-3
    Published By
    BBC Books
    Status
    In Print

  • X Marks The box

    X Marks The box

    ISBN
    978-1848310513
    Published By
    Icon Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Shadow Runners

    Shadow Runners

    ISBN
    978-1906427801
    Published By
    Chicken House
    Status
    In Print

  • Collecting Gadgets and Games from the 1950s-90s

    Collecting Gadgets and Games from the 1950s-90s

    ISBN
    978-1844681051
    Published By
    Pen & Sword
    Status
    In Print