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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...
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Stephen George

Helen Bailey

http://www.helenbaileybooks.com
helen@helenbaileybooks.com
To download this profile page, click HERE 


Q: What were you like at school?

snap

Little Miss Average, although I excelled at being very bad at sport and languages. Even now the phrase: "Catch!" particularly if said in French, sends me into a panic.

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

snap

A pony-riding, story-writing forensic scientist who worked part-time as a vet.

Q: What is your favourite word?

snap

Snack, as in: Do you fancy a quick snack? I always do.

Q: What are you afraid of?

snap

Potholing and getting my head stuck in my clothes.

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

snap

Last night when I was watching our dog, Boris, killing a soft toy. Poor tiger never stood a chance after Boris ripped his eyes out.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

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The aforementioned dog, Boris, a red smooth-haired miniature dachshund.

Q: What strange habits do you have?

snap

If I drop something, I automatically try to pick it up with my toes. This can be embarrassing if I've got shoes on - I start pawing the ground as if I'm a horse.

Q: What’s your favourite food?

snap

Shepherd's Pie. I once accepted a job with a firm because their works canteen served the most delicious Shepherd's Pie. I ate it every day for two weeks before disaster struck; the firm relocated the office and took Shepherd's Pie off the menu. I fell into deep depression for months until they bought me a microwave so I could zap M&S pies in it at lunchtime.

Q: What do you day dream about?

snap

I don't know about day dreaming, but I still have nightmares that I've either failed my school exams, turned up late or revised for the wrong exam. Thirty years on and I still wake up in a sweat panicking about equations.

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

snap

I still hanker after forensic science or the police force. I've read so many books and watched so many programmes on the subject, I'm positive if they just let me near the crime scene dressed in a fetching white boiler suit and gloves, I'd soon work out whether it was Colonel Mustard with the dagger in the library, or Mrs Peacock with the rope in the ballroom.

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

snap

Younger, much younger. The face in the mirror is a shock to me, but then it always has been.

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

snap

If someone has a good sense of direction. I get lost even with a map, the Sat Nav and someone pointing out the way. I know people who say casually: "It's over there", and manage to navigate across foreign cities with unreadable road signs, just by using the sun and their instinct. I can get lost going to the loo in a restaurant, and have often ended up in the kitchen peering at pots and pans.

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

snap

Australia. I thought people wearing suits and carrying surfboards in the city was a myth, until I visited Sydney.

Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

snap

If there's a loo, use it, even if you don't think you need to. The moment there isn't a toilet for miles, your bladder will spring into life.

Q: What has life taught you?

snap

That it never goes according to plan.

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

snap

John Lennon. I was in the sixth form when he was shot; I walked around wearing a black armband for weeks.

Q: How long have you been a writer?

snap

I've always written. Even my shopping lists were great works of fiction.

Q: Where do you do your writing?

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The better question would be: Where DON'T you do your writing? Under anaesthetic might be difficult, otherwise it's on the bus, in the supermarket queue, on the beach with a laptop etc.

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

snap

The best is finding out what happens to my characters before anyone else. The worst is the loneliness, especially if you are a sociable person like me. I've been known to actually have a conversation with someone trying to sell me double glazing, just for the sheer pleasure of speaking to another human being.

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

snap

Everyday life. One of the best ideas I ever had came from pooper scooping up after my dog outside my front gate.

Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?

snap

Electra Brown. Sometimes shallow but always with a good heart.

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

snap

I either use Mindmaps and coloured pens to unblock me, or take the dog for a walk. For an animal that doesn't say much (unless there's a cat about) he's remarkably helpful with my writing.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child?

snap

All of the books published by Puffin. The moment I saw that little black and white bird on the spine I knew I was in for a treat.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

snap

Plough on.

Search Other Profiles
My Books
  • Life at the Shallow End - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    Life at the Shallow End - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    ISBN
    9780340945384
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Out of My Depth - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    Out of My Depth - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    ISBN
    9780340950296
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Swimming Against The Tide - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    Swimming Against The Tide - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    ISBN
    9780340950302
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Taking the Plunge - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    Taking the Plunge - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    ISBN
    9780340989227
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Willow of the Woods: From Litter to Glitter

    Willow of the Woods: From Litter to Glitter

    ISBN
    9780340957080
    Status
    Coming Soon

  • Falling Hook, Line And Sinker - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    Falling Hook, Line And Sinker - The Crazy World of Electra Brown

    ISBN
    9780340989234
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Willow of the Woods: From Mud to Magic

    Willow of the Woods: From Mud to Magic

    ISBN
    9780340989951
    Status
    Coming Soon

  • Topaz Steals the Show

    Topaz Steals the Show

    ISBN
    034089346X
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Topaz Takes a Chance

    Topaz Takes a Chance

    ISBN
    0340893478
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Topaz in the Limelight

    Topaz in the Limelight

    ISBN
    0340893486
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Topaz Takes a Break

    Topaz Takes a Break

    ISBN
    0340917334
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Topaz on Ice

    Topaz on Ice

    ISBN
    0340917342
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Topaz Takes the Stage

    Topaz Takes the Stage

    ISBN
    0340917350
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Felicity Wishes: Fashion Fiasco (with Emma Thomson)

    Felicity Wishes: Fashion Fiasco (with Emma Thomson)

    ISBN
    0340902965
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Felicity Wishes: Spooky Sleepover (with Emma Thomson)

    Felicity Wishes: Spooky Sleepover (with Emma Thomson)

    ISBN
    0340902981
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Felicity Wishes: Dancing Dreams (with Emma Thomson)

    Felicity Wishes: Dancing Dreams (with Emma Thomson)

    ISBN
    034090299X
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Felicity Wishes: Friendship & Fairy school (with Emma Thomson)

    Felicity Wishes: Friendship & Fairy school (with Emma Thomson)

    ISBN
    0340844000
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Felicity Wishes: Secrets & Surprises (with Emma Thomson)

    Felicity Wishes: Secrets & Surprises (with Emma Thomson)

    ISBN
    0340844094
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Felicity Wishes: Snowflakes & Sparkledust (with Emma Thomson)

    Felicity Wishes: Snowflakes & Sparkledust (with Emma Thomson)

    ISBN
    0340873582
    Published By
    Hodder Children's Books
    Status
    In Print

  • Felicity Wishes: Big Book of Magical Mishaps (with Emma Thomson)

    Felicity Wishes: Big Book of Magical Mishaps (with Emma Thomson)

    ISBN
    0340882239
    Status
    Out of Print