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?
Nervous a lot of the time. Happy with my friends.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
A grown up. Ah, if only I'd known then, what I know now!
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Loyal, determined, and, I hope, fun.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
Seeing myself on video. Eeek!
Q: What are you afraid of?
Nothing on a good day. Everything on a bad day. But mostly big dogs with sharp teeth and small eyes.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Three seconds ago. I live with a comedian. No, honestly.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A beautiful green glass necklace. It was once my mother's and has a very sad but romantic history.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Eat chocolate, mostly. Oh and I like reading while I'm doing it. I like swimming too, but not while I'm eating chocolate.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
I beg your pardon! I don't think I've any. I mean, everyone licks all the chocolate off a mint before they eat the inside bit, don't they?
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Chocolate mice, to be precise. Otherwise I'm vegetarian.
Q: What do you day dream about?
Can I really say chocolate again? But mostly sunshine. I would love to go on holiday somewhere hot with a lovely sandy beach and a turquoise sea...
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
Dancing the French can-can on stage in front of the whole school when I was a young French teacher. Blush blush. (Actually I was pretty good!)
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Oh much younger! Most of the time I feel 13 or 14, which is why I write about young teens, I guess.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Kindness and fairness. I know that's two, but they kinda go together, don't you think?
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
I don't know if I can choose one. But Scara Brae on Orkney, a stone age village from thousand of years ago is a really special place. It was buried under the sand until the twentieth century so It's really well preserved.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
My right leg. (Oh, it's a long story. And I shouldn't complain, cos it does work really well.)
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Like Sassy's friend Taslima, I'd like to be a psychologist. I'm fascinated by people.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I've been writing poetry and other things for a long time but my first books for children came out in 2009.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
No, not really. It wasn't a big conscious decision. It kind of happened to me. You know, I tried writing some poems. Some of them got published, so I wrote more. Eventually I'd had lots of things published and I thought, well, I guess I'm a writer now.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Mostly at my desk, which is in the hallway of our little flat. Or in the living room as it's bright and sunny.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is when someone tells you they love what you've written. The worst thing's when you just can't get the story to work the way it should.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Inside my head, I suppose. That's where all my ideas are until I write them down.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
Oh that's an easy one. Sassy Wilde, in the Seriously Sassy books is very much the thirteen year old I would like to have been. Even though she does get things wrong a lot of the time!
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Dare I say it - I eat chocolate. Or go for a walk, do something completely different for a while. Often the problems sort themselves out when I'm asleep.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
I loved all kinds of books. I just read what I could get my hands on. What Katy Did, King Solomon's Mines, The Nancy Drew Mysteries. When I was 11 Wolf Fang by Jack London made a big impression on me.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read lots of books. And play at writing. Do it for the fun and don't think you have to be in a big hurry to get published. Writing is a craft, like being a sculptor or a musician. You need to practice and it's okay to make lots of mistakes and start things that don't work out. Keep at it and one day you'll write something really special.
PINCH ME, I'M DREAMING (SERIOUSLY SASSY)