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?
Pretty studious but I also played a lot of sport, especially tennis and hockey. I really loved languages and the humanities, but wasn't so good at Maths and Science.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a writer from a very young age and used to make folders of illustrated poems. I also wanted to be a doctor and Rapunzel at different points.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
It has to be Prague, which was the direct inspiration for my first books, 'Puppet Master' and 'The Alchemist & the Angel'. I have Prague to thank for nudging me to do what I'd always hoped for - writing and having books published. Berlin comes a very close second.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Hmm... Tricky. I use the word crazy a lot. I'm also fond of "trip", as in "I'm going on a trip" and "cubes" because of the way it sounds.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
I couldn't be without my laptop, and I also treasure my accordion - my favourite ever Christmas present.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I play bass guitar and accordion in a band, but it's more than a hobby really. We've released several albums and perform around Europe.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Sausages, goulash, cheese, cherries, raspberries and strawberries.
Q: What do you day dream about?
New ideas for stories, living in Berlin or Prague, having a big brown dog.
Q: What has life taught you?
Never neglect your hopes.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
Meg and Mog and Mr Men when I was very young, then Alf Prøysen's Mrs Pepperpot stories and Roald Dahl when I was a little older. My favourites were Fantastic Mr Fox and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When I was older still, The Silver Sword was a favourite, and I've always loved fairy tales, especially Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I've written since I was very young, had reviews and articles published from around 1997 and my first novel was published in 2008.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Mainly in our living room, but I'm not precious about needing special circumstances to write in. Sometimes having noise and bustle around is helpful.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Going for a long walk can really help free up your thoughts. I've solved a few tricky plot problems that way.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
To write and keep writing! I think it's important to spend time developing ideas, to see them through. Not only is it hugely satisfying to finish a piece of work, but it's also the best way to learn about plot and structure and character development: how to make your story work as a whole.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
I have an early memory of noticing that the author of a series of books called The Garden Gang was only a few years older than me. I remember thinking then that maybe I could write my own books too. I must have been around seven.
The Alchemist & the Angel