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?
The opposite of how I am now! Very quiet, very timid, very shy!
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Older! I didn't know exactly, but the ten year old me would be THRILLED that I now work as a poet and guitarist!
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Daydreamy, creative, zany!
Q: What is your favourite word?
RHYTHM. Great word to say, tricky word to spell! It's what poetry is all about, it's what music is all about.
Q: What makes you cringe?
Rudeness. Disrespect. Racism.
Q: What are you afraid of?
The 7-tonged 3-eyed bug monsters from the Planet Blip. They're fierce. They ferocious. They're...
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
I'm always laughing at something!
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
My wedding ring.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I don't do hobbies. They sound too half-hearted, too stamp collectery! I love words - so I'm a poet, I read and I read and I read - not jusat poems, but novels, information books, more poems... AND I love music, and I'm a guitarist, and listen listen listen to music, all kinds from Nina Simone to The Beatles to the Arctic Monkeys to Stevie Wonder to Cuban music...to even ...disco!
Q: What strange habits do you have?
Collecting envelopes. Talking to cats. Wobbling my guitar so it sounds all wobbly.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Q: What do you day dream about?
All kinds. It's where my ideas come from..from just drifting off..into the mists of my mind..my cave of creativity...and you never know what you might find and bring back - a thought, a little story, a memory, a weird wordy thing - and then turn into a poem. Nice!
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Jazz guitarist in a big band. Archaeologist. A guardian angel.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Much, much younger. I keep telling people I'm only 5, but they don't believe me!
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
I'll go for two - Humility and Compassion.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Loads ... Norway, Spain, America, Italy..and the magic wood at the back of my house.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
I've had loads, but my very good friend Brian Moses advised me to work in schools as a poet. I now do this. Thankyou, Brian!
Q: What has life taught you?
To keep going, to be humble, to work hard, to keep an open mind and to put your family first.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I started writing songs at 15. I played in bands for 20 years. I began writing poems in 1998, so about 12 years now.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
I sort of knew for a long time, but I fully realised it as soon as I went to university.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
On trains mostly. This makes the drivers VERY cross. But I write everywhere, anywhere. First on an envelope, then into my notebook, then I'll type it up, print it out and work on it for 3months+. A poem has got to be tight, and just right!
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
There are only good things. I get to write about anything and everything I want to. I get to be very creative, every day. I get to visit schools and meet a lot of great teachers and their classes. I get to perform my poems. I get to travel all over the UK and abroad. I love words, and I get to use words everyday. I get to write music too, and play it to audiences. I have a lot of fun!
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
That magic wood at the back of my house. But seriously, by daydreaming and just looking, listening, observing, mulling, thinking, pondering, more dreaming, dreaming, dreaming...
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
It never really happens as I always have some 70+ poems on the go at anytime. And, if I do get stuck, I just tell myself to write a haiku, a kenning or something and I do. Writing, being creative just happens, I don't need to force it.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
Tintin - The Black Island.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
The Mouse and his Child by Russell Hoban. Alongside Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak - and anything and everything by the poet John Agard. He is our best poet.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Read. Read. Read. Read some more. Read everything. Poems. Novels. Picture books. Plays. Try writing things in all different styles. Experiment. Write for yourself. Keep going. Read. Read even more. Do you know what writers are READERS...as well as WRITERS.
Cars Stars Electric Guitars
Greetings, Earthlings! (with Brian Moses)
Macmillan Children’s Books
Hey, Little Bug! Poems for Little Creatures
Hands Up Books
Orange Silver Sausage - Poems without rhymes from Zephaniah to Agard
Macmillan Children’s Books
Wild! Rhymes That Roar
Macmillan Children’s Books