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

Fiona Dunbar

http://www.fionadunbar.com
fidunbar@yahoo.co.uk
To download this profile page, click HERE 


Q: What were you like at school?

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The littlest one. Good at art and English, always the last to be picked for the netball team. Brief moment of fame for Elvis impersonations. Went from A* student in year 6 to complete waster by year 11.

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

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An artist and a writer, both together.

Q: Which three words describe you best?

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very small person.

Q: What is your favourite word?

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Skivoogling. What I mostly did in Year 11.

Q: What makes you cringe?

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Reality TV and buffet car announcements on trains.

Q: What are you afraid of?

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The salad drawer in my fridge, if I haven't looked in there recently.

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

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Just now, looking at some of my Facebook friends' pictures of themselves in the 1980s. Nobody told us how wrong that hair was.

Q: What do you do as a hobby?

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I cook. I read. I cook AND read. I cook, and read, and watch TV, and talk on the telephone, all at the same time. I watch movies and go running, but NOT at the same time. I love to hike across moors, along coastal paths...don't get to do it often enough. I'm a fairweather gardener.

Q: What strange habits do you have?

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I have strange and sinister nocturnal habits, which leave me exhausted during the day, so I have to have a lie down every day at exactly 3.15pm...so you'd better not call me then.

Q: What’s your favourite food?

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My own sunday roast: organic chicken with parsley, thyme & lemon and killer roast potatoes, then a spiced apple crumble with vanilla ice cream.

Q: What do you day dream about?

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Whatever story I'm working on; menus; shoes; beaches.

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

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I'd love to direct a film.

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

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Does ANYONE say older??! I'm about fourteen, but with more experience.

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

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Pablo Picasso.

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

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Tallness.

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

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The 1960s, but I was a bit too young to appreciate it. I'd love to go back and get a better look.

Q: How long have you been a writer?

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Counting my picture books, twenty years. Oh good grief...I didn't realise that until just now; I thought I was still a newcomer! But there was a lo-o-o-ong gap in the middle, when I was a full-time mum.

Q: Where do you do your writing?

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In my study, on the top floor of my house. Occasionally in the garden...very occasionally, in a cafe. But haven't really developed that habit.

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

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Best: being your own boss. Seeing your work in print. Getting fan mail. Meeting readers! Worst: worrying that your next book might be turned down.

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

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My first publisher at Orchard gave me the best advice, after she'd asked me to write a second trilogy and I was all clammed up and anxious: she said, 'just PLAY. Mess around. Do whatever interests you; the ideas will come from that.' She was right.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child?

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Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. As a thing to have and hold, a lovely edition I inherited of The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley, with Arthur Rackham illustrations. But for reading, I was more into Enid Blyton...

Q: What book do you wish you had written?

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There are none that I actually wish I had written, but I suppose the closest would be The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, because not only do I wish I'd had the idea, but I wish I'd thought of THOSE characters, THOSE jokes... As far as concept goes, I also wish I'd thought of writing a series of books about kids who are all offspring of Greek Gods, but Rick Riordan got there before me with his Percy Jackson books.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

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Redraft your work! Whenever I say this to schoolkids, the teachers always nod vigorously. There's ALWAYS room for improvement; even top authors have to edit their work! Read a lot, and keep at it: competition is fierce, and you've got to give it all you've got. I could go on and on – but I have a whole page of writing tips on my website; take a look!

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