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 did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to play football for West Ham, which obviously didn't happen! My other dream was to write books. I ended up becoming a television journalist which gave me loads of amazing experiences and made me think I could write. But it was only when I left television and started teaching in East London primary schools that I found the audience I wanted to write for- I realised I didn't just want to write any old books, I wanted to write for children.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I'm a season ticket holder at West Ham football club, which is a very expensive and stressful way to spend your free time.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Q: What do you day dream about?
Having my books made into films by Stephen Spielberg.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
I shook hands with Nelson Mandela under false pretences. He thought I was a member of the African National Congress rather than a journalist who'd got lost in a big conference centre in South Africa. He actually said to me, "How nice to meet you. Thank you for all your hard work." It seemed churlish to put the great man right so I just smiled and nodded.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
North Korea. It's a very strange and frightening country ruled over by a cruel dictator. It features in one of my books, "Street Heroes- Runaways" which is out in January 2011.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
If at first you don't succeed... Corny but true. There are better authors than me who never got published because they got disheartened and didn't try, try again.
Q: What has life taught you?
That you often find goodness in the last place you expected, and that you should be careful about judging other people. My favourite poem has the lines: "I've seen flowers come in stony places, And kind things done by men with ugly faces."
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
My books are all set in the modern and historic East End of London. It's a place that's special to me and it's been known intimately by generations of my family.
Street Heroes: Runaways