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 swot, actually. I was well-behaved in lessons and always did my homework. I was quite good at most subjects except German, for some reason, in which I regularly came bottom of the class! My favourite subjects were music and art (sadly drama wasn't on the curriculum at my school for under-16s otherwise I would have taken it like a shot!)
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
An illustrator - I spent hours drawing tiny pictures of horses, unicorns, dragons. Though I was never very good at drawing people - had terrible trouble with faces!
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Yesterday evening, when my daughter was pulling funny faces.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Arts and crafts, particularly card-making.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Floristry - I love flowers and once did a flower-arranging course, which I really enjoyed.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
About right, actually. I think I was born in my thirties!
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
William Shakespeare. He is such an icon in our lifetime, but I would love to meet the real person and see how he felt about his work and the theatre.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Don't worry about the things you can't change.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
All my life, I suppose! Though I have only been published since 2004.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Best things: being able to work at my own pace, seeing my name on a book, getting emails from people who have read and liked my books, being paid to make things up! Worst things: the pressure to keep coming up with good stuff, keeping motivated when your manuscripts are rejected (yes, it still happens!) and juggling work-life balance when you have a deadline!
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Everywhere - TV programmes, newspaper articles, magazines, people on the street, out of my own head, paintings, photographs, my family...my whole life, in fact!
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
You're going to hate me, but I don't really get writers' block. I don't know why; maybe it's because I can't imagine ever running out of ideas. I DO sometimes get stuck in the middle of a manuscript, when I've reached a bit of the book I don't know quite how to write. Then I usually do something else for a while - the washing, go for a walk, have a cup of tea - and the problem usually resolves itself. Or I grimly stare at the computer until I force myself to come up with something!
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
The Ordinary Princess, by M M Kaye. It's about a girl who is a princess but who really wants to do 'ordinary' stuff, like climbing trees and having picnics. Whilst she's bunking off princess duties one day, she meets a boy in the woods who also likes climbing trees and picnics. They have loads of fun, and then she discovers that he's actually a prince and hates all that posh stuff too! Romance, a fairytale and 'ordinary' people - what more could a young girl want from a book?
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read, read, read. Write, write, write. (That's not original, by the way, I'm sure someone else said that). Grow a thick skin too - you need to learn how to take criticism. Believe in yourself - no one else will if you don't! Keep writing, but make sure you've got another career planned because very few writers can afford to live off their earnings! Good luck!