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?
I didn't enjoy reading, I found writing hard and was rubbish at spelling (still am!).
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Every one of my school visits.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Syzygy (it is a real word, I promise!)
Q: What are you afraid of?
Q: Whatís your favourite food?
Cheese and Onion Cornish Pasty.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I make films (as you'll know if you've seen my school presentations).
Q: What do you day dream about?
The story I'm writing - I get a lot of my ideas through day dreaming.
Q: Whatís the most outrageous thing youíve done?
At a school once, as I entered the room full of 200 children I was about to talk to, I hit my head on the doorframe and fell back down a flight of stairs. Very painful, but it got a good laugh!
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Iíd probably be a teacher. Theyíre lovely people. Really.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
The Osbourne Family Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios, Disney World. Fascinating watching everyone's reactions.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
My first book, 'Stormy Cliff', was published in 2008.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
90% of the 'writing' happens in my head - forming ideas - and this can happen anywhere at any time. I wish I could say that I do put pen to paper atop a mountain with a clear view out to an emerald sea with dolphins playing on the horizon... but in reality I sit in front of my computer at my writing desk surrounded by hundreds of scraps of paper.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is when I go into schools and bring my writing to life with the children I meet. They inspire me. Also, when I finish a book after 2 years hard work.
The worst thing is when I spend a day trying to write but never think of a signle word.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
I get ideas. Lots of them. Theyíre buzzing round my head right now, banging into each other and forming bigger, brighter ideas. And those ideas hit more ideas and explode like fireworks in my mind. If Iím not careful, too many fireworks will go off at once and my head will explode.
Thatís why I have to write - to get those ideas out of my head. The problem is, as soon as I write one idea down, another idea pops into my head. Iím in a never-ending cycle of ideas and thereís no escaping them!
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
When I was a child I hardly read anything. I listened to a lot of things on story tape.
I grew up listening to Enid Blyton. It started with Noddy, and then the adventure books - Famous Five, Secret Seven and so on.
Eventually I was encouraged to give reading a go, and now I love reading!
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusack
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Donít be afraid to try things out. Write about what you want to write about, and write in the way that feels most comfortable to you. If you prefer writing while lying in bed, do that. If you find writing on a computer easier, type away, or if you find (as I do) that you write best while listening to the Cheeky Girls with the volume turned right up, go ahead Ė although dancing while writing is quite tricky!
Discover as many different stories as you can. I donít just mean by reading, I also mean by watching films, going to the theatre, or even just listening to your grandparentsí stories. The more stories you read, hear and watch, the easier you will find it to write your own.
Write. In football, the more you practice kick ups, the better youíll get at doing them; in dance, the more you practice a routine, the better youíll get at performing it. Itís exactly the same with writing: in order to be a good writer you actually have to sit down and write your stories. And the more you write, the better youíll get it!
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