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?
Messy, dreamy, and lazy.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to live in a cliff-top castle with the sea ahead and the woods behind writing adventure books without any effort.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Messy Dreamy Lazy
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
Insensitivity - the inability to imagine other people's feelings.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Last night when I saw a TV program about Enid Blyton and realized she was even worse than I made her out to be in REVENGE OF THE DINNER LADIES.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
My Dan Dare original artwork - from when I worked on the EAGLE comic.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I used to read and sail and go for long walks. Now I sit in a corner half asleep.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
I tend to pretend I'm a marionette and move my legs by manipulating invisible strings.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Bread and butter pudding.
Q: What do you day dream about?
I can do applied daydreaming. Applied daydreaming is writing books.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
People feel exactly the same as they get older - but they LOOK completely different.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
No one famous.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
You relate to different people in different ways and admire - or respond to - different qualities in each. But I like people who are clever and funny and warm and loyal.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Giggles Fun Shop.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
No one has ever given me good advice. Well meaning advice - yes. Daft advice - certainly. But good advice - never.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
But if I changed I wouldn't be me.
Q: What has life taught you?
It's short and chaotic, so look for love and loyalty.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
My first book was published in the early 1980s, but I wrote comic scripts and other stuff from the late 1960s.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
No. I always assumed that is what I'd do.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
I have an eerie eyrie full of clutter - desk, laptop, and, most important, a waste paper basket.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The process of writing is very satisfying for dreamy people who love words. The worst thing about writing books is the huge industry of which writers are a tiny part. These are the people who put your books on the wrong shelves - or not on the shelves at all; the people who lose manuscripts or reject them; the teachers and librarians who form views about your work without reading it.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Good ideas often come on the heels of bad ideas. This means the first draft of a chapter can be second rate, but the 6th draft first rate.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
Tony in TIME CHILD lives in a world close to my own childhood. Flint in NEVER SAY DIE inhabits the same world horribly changed and distorted.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
If you can't continue with a book it almost certainly means that there is something wrong with it. So to deal with this you cut and hack ruthlessly - cutting away the dead stuff.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
Maybe the William books.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
I don't wish I'd written someone else's book. Books come from deep inside a particular person's personality.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Find your voice - don't copy someone else's.
The Scourge of the Dinner Ladies
Andersen/Hodder/ Chivers/Enormous Dormouse
The Headmaster Went SPLAT!
Revenge of the Dinner Ladies
Out of Print
The Case of the Feeble Weeble
Panic at Pinnacle Primary
Simon & Schuster/ Enormous Dormouse
The Headmaster Gets the Boot
The Dinner Ladies Clean Up
The Snoots Strike Back
Out of Print
Never Say Die!
Lucasta Smirk Goes Berserk
Never Say Die!