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?
The despair of my teachers, I think. I never stopped talking and was always one of the ones who "could have done better." I left school at sixteen and did a number of different jobs until I eventually went to university at the age of 46 and did a BA majoring in creative writing followed by an MA in creative writing. Having then decided I liked being a student, I did a further two years training to teach students aged 16+ which is what I do now as well as write.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
At the age of about 12 I read Little Women and announced to my family, "When I grow up I'm going to be an authoress." A couple of years later I decided I wanted to be a teacher in an infant school. My students now aren't infants although sometimes they behave like it.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Caring talkative readaholic (is there such a word?)
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
I don't know about cringe but discrimination of any kind makes me furiously angry. I cringe when I remember some of the embarrassing things I've done in the past.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
New Year's Eve at a party when the party game was to balance an After Eight mint on your nose and flick it into your mouth. I don't know what I looked like but the others looked ridiculous.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Read, write, walk and keep goats in my back garden. I'm also a keen organic vegetable grower and my goats are keen organic vegetable eaters, which means a running battle to keep goats and veg apart.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
None that I'm prepared to admit to in public.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Strangely enough, vegetables.
Q: What do you day dream about?
My books becoming - if not best sellers - at least well read.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
Gone to live on a Scottish island to become a weaver.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
None at all. I've got just what I want.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Depends on how much marking I have to do! Generally I feel as if I am much younger than I am and it's a shock when I look in the mirror.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
That's a hard one. It would have to be a writer but I'm undecided between Charles Dickens and Malcolm Saville.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Ironbridge which is just down the road from my home.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
Face, height and figure. My ears are ok.
Q: What has life taught you?
That you can't make other people do what is right but can only be there for them.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
When I was at junior school, my friends used to ask me to help them when we had to write stories or poems. I'd have finished mine while they were still on the first line.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
When I read Little Women and identified with Jo March.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
I have a study where I do the physical bit but the thinking part of writing happens anywhere. My husband gets frustrated when we're out walking the dogs and he's talking to me but I am mentally conversing with my characters.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best is being able to get the ideas in my head onto paper and people enjoying readng them. The worst is waiting to hear back from editors and publishers, expecting that rejection letter to arrive any day.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Anywhere and everywhere.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
I think there's a lot of the teenage me in Julie of "Jaybees - Julie's Story".
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Sleep on it.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
I loved Enid Blyton's Famous Five series, as well as her Secret Seven and Five Findouters and Dog. When I outgrew those, I discovered Malcolm Saville when a teacher read to us from his "The Gay Dolphin" which was set in Rye, East Sussex, a few miles from where I grew up. I read every one of the Lone Pine series.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Great Expectations except I would now be dead.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read, read, read and write, write, write.
Jaybees - Julie's Story