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?
Prime Minister during the week and Goalkeeper for Chelsea on saturdays.
Q: What were you like at school?
Good at English, Art and making people laugh. Rubbish at everything else - especially maths and chatting up girls.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Handsome Charming Liar
Q: What is your favourite word?
Kawasaki. I love the way it gets the whole mouth working.
Q: What makes you cringe?
Reality TV programmes, and remembering some of the thoughtless things I've said to people over the years.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Bad things happening to people I love.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
About five minutes ago with my wife.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A beautiful hand made wooden box, delicately decorated with gold leaf and encrusted with precious jewels of all kinds. Only problem is I had to promise never to open it....
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Sit looking at the box and wondering what would happen if I did open it.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
When I'm bored I chew off my own feet, but they always grow back again by the morning.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Halibut, hake, salmon, salt marsh lamb, broccoli, carrots, sausages, pine kernels, aubergine, courgettes, tomatoes, baked beans, anchovies, chocolate in absolutely any form as long as it's real chocolate and not that american muck, bacon sandwiches, pizza, fish and chips, sticky toffee pudding, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, pasta, steak, soup, pork pies, gingerbread - especially the stuff made by my friend Simon from the Staff of Life bakery in Kendal, cornish pasties, cheese, onions, christmas pudding, spring onions, lettuce, custard, fried egg sandwiches, rum butter, kendal mint cake, lamb, beef, parsnips, brazil nuts, oranges, lemon tart, apricots, avocados, strawberries, Christmas pudding, blueberries, porridge, cheesecake - especially the kind you get in New York, toast, croissants, rye bread with caraway seeds, doughnuts, smoked mackerel pate, ice cream..... and that's just for starters!
Q: What do you day dream about?
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
I once told the Interstellar Council of the Gallaphrian Galaxy that Father Christmas is my dad. Actually he's my uncle and when they found out it caused a spot of bother.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
When I was young I ran away to join the Circus. But by the time I got there they'd packed up and gone, so I stood in the middle of a huge empty field and thought perhaps I should be a blade of grass instead.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Much, much younger - which might just mean I haven't grown up yet.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
My Grandad. He was lost at sea in the second world war so I never knew him, but everyone says he was brave, honourable, kind and very, very, funny.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
The city of Ghallphatt in the country of Ukkamarsh on the planet Sarashnakalla. I have a friend who lives there - which is just as well 'cos the hotels are outrageously expensive.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Never hold a nail for someone else to hammer in.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I'd like to lose some weight. The fact that I need to but haven't yet may have something to do with an earlier answer to these questions.
Q: What has life taught you?
You're never alone with a Rhubarb sandwich.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
Since Junior School.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Anywhere - I always have a notebook and a pen with me, but it gets a bit messy when I go swimming.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is when people tell you they've really enjoyed your book. The worst thing's the pay - honestly: we're not all JKR, you know!
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Since my books are mostly based on the stories I tell, and the stories I tell are at least hundreds if not thousands of years old, I suppose you could say I pinch them from people who've been dead for so long they can't sue me.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
All of them - I couldn't write if I didn't.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Drink champagne, of course!
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
I can't remember the title but when I was quite young I read a wonderful picture book about a tiger wandering around a town early in the morning after escaping from the Zoo. I can remember vividly how sorry I felt for this beautiful creature being completely at odds with his surroundings, and that feeling has stayed with me ever since and is probably why I have such empathy and passion for other creatures. I'd also like to declare publicly here and now that I LOVED Enid Blyton's Secret Seven and Famous Five books and could read two or three in an evening.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Get on with it!
The Pearl in the Grass
The Geat - the story of Beowulf and Grendel
The Creature of Crete