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?
Quiet and a bit shy - if there was ever any mischief afoot, even if I was involved in it, I was never suspected. Being unobtrusive could be an advantage at times!
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
I always wanted to be a vet. I love animals and couldn't think of anything better than to be surrounded by them every day.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
optimistic, dependable, inquisitive
Q: What is your favourite word?
Wonder - it keeps life fresh and exciting.
Q: What makes you cringe?
Cruelty to people or animals.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Bees - though I know it's silly to be afraid of a creature that's so much smaller than me!
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
The last time I stayed up late chatting with my best friend who lives in Dublin. My husband and I often laugh about things that happen to us but there's something special about chatting and laughing with your best friend.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
I rarely go anywhere without a book tucked in my handbag so I'd have to say my book collection is my most treasured possession.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Read, go for long walks, make patchwork quilts, play guitar (badly!), talk to my pets (I understand their responses even though they can't speak) and travel.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Chilli con carne with rice on a cold winter's day. It's especially good when it's shared with a few friends.
Q: What do you day dream about?
What I could be doing if I weren't working in the office or doing the housework.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
Decided to write a novel - then went ahead and did it.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I'd like to be a folk singer but I don't play guitar very well and can't carry a tune so I don't think I'd be very good at it...maybe I could just lip synch!
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Definitely younger - I'm not what most people expect someone my age to be.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Honesty and sincerity - I think the two go together.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
The ruins of Pompeii in Italy. It's amazing to see the excavated city - the whole city was covered with dust and debris when the volcano Vesuvius erupted hundreds of years ago and the city and its inhabitants were 'frozen' as they were then. Walking through the ruins is like stepping back in time. I read stories about Pompeii when I was a child but never thought I'd ever get to see the real place.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Do what you know is right.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
My weight - I always need to lose a few pounds.
Q: What has life taught you?
You can do things that you didn't think you could - and do them well. You just have to be willing to try.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
Since the end of the last century - around 1998.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
No, I've always loved reading and often have my nose in a book but I didn't realise that I could create my own stories. I have an active imagination and ideas for stories are always swirling around in my mind. So, gradually it dawned on me that I should start putting these stories down on paper or on the computer. Once I started to do this I became a writer.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Usually on the computer in the spare bedroom. Then I plop myself on the sofa to correct and edit my work.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is that I can let my imagination run free and I'm often suprised by the stories that trot into my mind. The worst thing is that I have to check and edit each piece I write over and over again until it's exactly the story I want it to be.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
When I'm hoovering my mind roams free and loads of ideas pop into my head. Often they are the beginnings of my best stories or poems.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I go for a long walk and let my mind wander too. It helps me to relax so new ideas can grow in my mind or I can solve problems in the piece I'm working on.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
When I was in primary school I loved Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight. As a teenager The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton made a huge impression on me.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's a vivid story that's told so well it comes alive in your mind.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Spend time editing or correcting your work - even though it may feel like tiresome homework. No piece of writing is ever perfect the first time.
Hitler and Mars Bars