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?
A bit of a daydreamer! My head was usually somewhere else, especially during maths lessons. I was a bright kid but I didn't apply myself as much as I could have and I lacked confidence. I only realised what I was truly capable of academically when I returned to University as a mature student.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
A writer but coming from a family who valued the old fashioned work ethic this wasn't encouraged as a career. I wanted to be a long distance lorry driver and a secret agent. I still think I would make a brilliant spy!
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
When people pay me compliments. I'm getting better at accepting them now though! Oh, and when my son passes wind in front of people.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Anything happening to my wee boy. Oh, and maggots. Eeeek!
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
I've had a good few chuckles in the last week or so but the last time I had a proper old belly laugh was when I was speaking to my friend Caroline on Skype at Christmas (she is currently living in America). We have been friends since we were babies and no-one can make me laugh like her.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
When I'm being healthy, cottage cheese and pineapple. When I'm not, chocolate. I love pasta too.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
I wouldn't like to say! There might be children reading this! One thing that springs to mind was riding pillion on a motorbike (a very, very fast motorbike) without a helmet. Please do not even consider doing this, I was 17 and thought I was invinsible. If I ever catch my son doing anything as stupid I'll kill him with my bare hands!
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Something to do with advertising. I would love to work with animals but I am too much of a softy and would end up taking them all home with me!
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Much, much younger. Sometimes I get a fright when I am reminded how old I am.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
So difficult to choose just one but probably David Attenborough.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Cross that bridge when you come to it! My mum says this on a daily basis to me. It basically means stop worrying about things until they happen and then you can deal with them.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I wish I didn't get so wound up about things. I can really work myself into a frenzy over the silliest thing. Life is too short. I wish I was really laid back.
Q: What has life taught you?
That if you don't try then you'll never know. "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing" George Bernard Shaw
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I've been a published writer since August 2009 but I guess I've been a writer for as long as I can remember.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
I had a ropey time in my personal life around the middle of 2006 and I decided to do something positive instead of falling to pieces. Out of that period came my first novel "Bree McCready and the Half Heart Locket".
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Mostly in my living room (I have a laptop) but sometimes the kitchen if the neighbours TV gets too distracting. I spend a lot of time in my old bedroom back at my parent's house when my son is at school. Being in my childhood room really helps me connect with the young characters in the book.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Best - getting to live the dream and knowing that children are reading and enjoying my book. Worst - you need lots of self discipline because you are your own boss. It can be hard to motivate yourself sometimes.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Some of the ideas I have are ones that have been in my head since I was a little girl. I have carried them around with me for a very long time and find it really exciting to finally be getting a chance to share them. My little boy comes up with great names for places and baddies too!
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
As most authors would say there's a bit of me in all the main characters in my book. I connect with Bree because she is deep thinking and wise beyond her years. I identify with Honey because she is unconventional and a bit of a rebel and Sandy is like me because he tends to see the things that might go wrong but also because he is loyal and trustworthy.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I haven't had writers' block yet but I know it will probably happen at some point. My problem is not so much a lack of ideas but a lack of motivation to get those ideas down. I combat this by forcing myself to write - I usually find once I am over the initial hurdle the words flow and I really get into it!
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
Without a doubt The Hundred and One Dalmations by Dodie Smith. I read it in one sitting.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
To keep writing even if you can't get published. It's a cliche but never give up. Write for the pleasure of it not because you hope it will lead to something. That way your luck might change when you least expect it. Your brain is like any muscle, you have to keep using it to get better.
Bree McCready and the Half Heart Locket
Bree McCready and the Flame of Irenus
Bree McCready and the Realm of the Lost