Authors Hotline - Where authors and their readers connect
CW4K

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...
For more information on CW4K CLICK HERE

Q: What were you like at school?

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I used to draw all over my exercise books which drove my teachers mad! I wasn’t good at maths or PE but my best subjects were English, Art, History and Biology. I loved singing and when my school produced an opera called ‘Persephone’, I played the King of the Underworld. I also loved dancing – my friends and I went to dances every weekend. My favourite dance was the ‘Twist.’

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

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I always wanted to have something to do with art. When I was ten I wrote and illustrated a book about a horse. The plot was a bit like ‘Black Beauty’. But another part of me wanted to be an actress. A lot of my family are actors, and a love of the theatre, films and TV was a big part of my childhood. Drawing won in the end though!

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

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It is a woodcut of a cow by the artist Kathleen Hale. She wrote and illustrated the ‘Orlando’ books about a ginger cat and his family. I loved these books as a child. Although Kathleen Hale died a few years ago, her books are still in print so she lives on.

Q: What do you do as a hobby?

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I read and read and read. I go to the theatre, watch films and TV. I visit museums and art galleries, and I like walking.

Q: What’s your favourite food?

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Any sort of cheese.

Q: What do you day dream about?

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I day dream about winning the Kate Greenaway Medal for book illustration. One of my books was commended once, and I’ve been on the long list a couple of times but it would be nice to win it one day!

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

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Acting, because so many of my family are actors.

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

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Children often ask me, when I visit schools to talk about my work, “Have you visited all the different countries that you illustrate in your books?” I reply that I haven’t –only in my imagination. I do research each book carefully though, and often find that I discover more about a country by looking at the art that is made there, rather than just by looking at photos.

Q: How long have you been a writer?

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For forty years.

Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?

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When I was in my final year at art school, I wrote and illustrated my first picture book –‘Spotted Horse’. It was later published.

Q: Where do you do your writing?

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I work in a small room that used to be my son’s bedroom. He’s left home so doesn’t need it anymore.

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

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The best thing is that you don’t have to commute to work and you can plan your day yourself. The worst thing is that it can be lonely, and you don’t have a regular wage every month!

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

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I get my ideas from the myths, legends and folk tales that I read. I also get ideas from visiting museums and art galleries, and watching TV programmes about wildlife, history and art.

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

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I start working on a different project or I go for a long walk.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child?

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‘Orlando’s Seaside Holiday’ by Kathleen Hale.

Q: What book do you wish you had written?

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‘Where the Wild Things Are’ by Maurice Sendak.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

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Read, read, read, look, look, look.

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My Books
  • How Rabbit Stole the Fire

    How Rabbit Stole the Fire

    ISBN
    0-14-050667-5
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • What Made Tiddalik Laugh

    What Made Tiddalik Laugh

    ISBN
    0-14-050674-8
    Status
    Out of Print

  • How Night Came

    How Night Came

    ISBN
    0-14-056379-2
    Status
    Out of Print

  • Monkey and the Water Dragon

    Monkey and the Water Dragon

    ISBN
    0-14-038417-0
    Status
    Out of Print

  • The Wizard Punchkin

    The Wizard Punchkin

    ISBN
    0-14-050676-4
    Status
    Out of Print

  • The Tiger Child

    The Tiger Child

    ISBN
    0-14-038238-0
    Published By
    Puffin
    Status
    In Print

  • Tortoise's Dream

    Tortoise's Dream

    ISBN
    0-14-050671-3
    Status
    Out of Print