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 missed a lot of school through ill health but I liked it when I was there. I was always good at English and terrible at Maths. Sadly, that hasn't changed although I love numbers.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
A tap dancer like Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, as my Mum sent me to ballet, tap and acrobatic lessons and I have a couple of photographs of a group of us girls doing a Show.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Friendly. Impulsive. Curious.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
Q: What are you afraid of?
The dark, I'm sorry to say.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Whenever I get together with my family.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A gold cross my Mum gave me.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Read. Knit, because I love handling wools and working with colour. and walk.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
When I haven't heard something properly,I pretend I have heard it
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Q: What do you day dream about?
Too many things but I do sometimes daydream about living in Scotland.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
Riding pillion on a motorcycle going at 100 miles an hour. (A long time ago, mind you).
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I'd like to interview people and listen to them tell about the things they really love doing.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
I feel much younger.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Betty MacDonald. I had Charles Dickens in here but having just read a biography on him, I think I'd be too scared to even speak. I know I'd have a lot to talk about with Betty MacDonald.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Dundee, Scotland. I absolutely love this city. In fact, I love it so much, I've written this little poem for it. 'There are places you come from And places you go to, And places you don't want to see. But the best place of all, Is that place in the North, Beautiful, friendly DUNDEE.'
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Believe in yourself.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I would like to be more decisive.
Q: What has life taught you?
To never give up.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I started writing poetry when I was 18. But my first book was published in 1977.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
Yes. I went to College to train to be a teacher but after I'd spent the Grant money, realised it wasn't for me. So, then I had to pay the Grant money back and that was when I decided to earn it back through writing. Which, luckily, I did.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
In an upstairs room in my house.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is writing a story and and getting so interested in it, you think about it constantly. The worst thing is when you feel the same about a story but the characters pack their bags and leave.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
I don't know. But sometimes a few words will come that catch your interest. Other times, a name will present itself to you and you want to explore that person.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
The heroine of PRIVATE-KEEP OUT, 'KNOCK AND WAIT and ONE WAY ONLY because she's based on myself. Apart from her, Violette in 'THE REVOLUTIONARY'S DAUGHTER.'
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Nothing. I just wait.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
'At the back of the North Wind.'by George MacDonald.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
'David Copperfield' by Charles Dickens or 'The Egg and I' by Betty MacDonald.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
When your mind is full of people you've made up and things that have only happened in your mind, get some paper and write it all down. Then think about it and if it helps, say, 'I'm going to have 12 chapters her,' and give each chapter a certain month. Then start. You'll probably find as you go along that you don't need this structure at all and can break free of it.It can help sometimes, though. Then never give up. Just keep writing.
Private Keep Out
Barn Owl Books
Little Blue Car
100 Stories for Haiti
Bridge House Publishing