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?
I went to eight schools, owing to moving house. I ended up at a boarding-school, made good friends but wasn't one of the crowd and I hated lacrosse but liked tennis. I worked hard, did well at exams and left after Matriculating.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
I remember saying I wanted to live in a little house in a wood with my mother and write stories
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Friendly, artistic, impulsive
Q: What makes you cringe?
Unkindness to people or animals. Boring people, too!
Q: What are you afraid of?
Bad things happening to my family - flying (but I do make myself fly!) being stuck in the Tube in a tunnel - being stuck in a panicky crowd.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
My children and my husband - also our Springer Spaniel, Toby.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Paint landscapes in oils or pastels, walk Toby, meet friends for meals, learn Italian, walk with a group, sing hymns rather too loudly, go to art exhibitions and with husband to ballet, concerts & films. Watch plays etc. on TV
Q: What strange habits do you have?
I get covered in paint when inspired!
Q: What do you day dream about?
Going to Venice (6th time this year) writing a great story, rescuing someone from sea/fire etc!
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Mostly younger - except on bad days!
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Kindness and courage.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Venice - also Paris, Bali, Malaysia ...
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
"To your own self be true"
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I'd like to have more courage and be less anxious - more carefree.
Q: What has life taught you?
To try to enjoy each day as it comes
Q: How long have you been a writer?
A long time. I wrote stories when young and was first published when I was in my twenties. I've written 30 books for children and some adult short stories.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
Had 'journalism' class at secretarial college - work praised - later worked for a literary agent (putting off as I wrote the reject letters!) but later suddenly wrote a story for the BBC which was accepted.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
In a small, cluttered and untidy study - sometimes with an easel at one end.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Having a really good idea and producing a book which children like. Worst - it's a lonely job and I like people. Also, sometimes rejection is hard.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Everywhere - from events, people, places and sometimes out of nowhere.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
I think I'm like Pippa, the evacuee in House of Spies - and also rather like Fran in River of Secrets.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Read - revise old stories - go for a walk!
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
So many - I learned to read at 4 - loved The Wind in the Willows, also Black Beauty and later, Little Women, Swallows & Amazons and many horse and animal books.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Work hard - don't give up - join a group of writers so you can have company in your lonely pursuit.
House of Spies
The Silent Pool
Francis the Hero
The Secret of Monk's Island
River of Secrets
Danger at the Doghouse