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?
Lucky - being captain of the football mean meant I had a lot of leeway.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Astronaut and Nobel Prize winning scientist, while also playing football for England.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
You'd have to ask other people.
Q: What makes you cringe?
Reading back my answers to questionnaires.
Q: What are you afraid of?
heights - poor Clara gets it from me.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Too many to list, though a few of them make it into my books. Johnny has similar tastes to me.
Q: What do you day dream about?
Travelling the universe.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
When I was at school, I wrote to Stephen Hawking explaining why he was wrong about quantum theory, black holes and Hawking radiation. I never got a reply...
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
I think everyone gravitates around a mental age of about 25. I've not met anyone, even much older, who hasn't felt young inside.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Can I choose someone not yet born? How about the person from the future who makes proper first contact with an intelligent alien species.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
I like people to be interesting.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I used to think of myself as a "non-writing writer". Now I know a writer writes and I can't imagine not putting pen to paper all the time. I began in earnest in 2004.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
I was made redundant in 2004 and had to decide pretty quickly what I was going to do next.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Cafés work well for me and remind me of Jo Rowling, my writing idol - as do trains which are where I'm most productive.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Best - being paid to tell stories. Worst - not being paid very much.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Being interested in and experiencing a lot of things. Plus I have powerful dreams.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
When I was Johnny's age I dreamed of aliens taking me away to see the Galaxy - he's living the life I wanted.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I have a writing rhythm and understand I'm a night owl, at my best and most creative as evening draws on. Sometimes I can become inspired and write all night. If I tried to force words out first thing in the morning, it would be hopeless.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
Lord of the Rings - Middle Earth was so real to me I spent forever scouring atlases searching for its secret location.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Contact by Carl Sagan. It's a great story about aliens, science, dreams and faith - four things I feel comfortable writing about.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read lots and always carry a notebook. Every time you have a great idea, however impossible it seems you'll forget it, write it down. And write every day. A writer writes.
Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London (hardback)
Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London (paperback)
Johnny Mackintosh: Star Blaze