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?
Ha, I was a daydreamer and always sat at the back so that I could read books under the desk without the teacher noticing. When I got older I was suspended for dying my hair purple.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Ever since I can remember I've wanted to write books, though I did go through a stage of wanting to be a disco dancer and a singer. Unfortunately, I can't dance or sing.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Forgetful, funny, naughty
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
Remembering all the stupid things I've said and done, like dying my hair purple.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Heights, though it's not really the height that scares me it's hitting the ground with a wet squelch. Pizza, because it has a strange mystic power over me. And people with guns.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Yesterday while I was playing Guitar Hero very badly.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
I have three: my laptop, my bed, and a cup of coffee.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
Leaving things in strange places. I once found my wallet in the freezer.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Oh sweet sweet pizza.
Q: What do you day dream about?
Going back in time with an iPod full of great songs and pretending I wrote them all so I can become the greatest rock star the world has ever seen.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
Something very very naughty. And I am soo not telling.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I would like to be the Lilt Man. Do they still have the Lilt Man on TV? Cycling up and down a sunny beach all day throwing cans of pop at people seems like a pretty good job.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
The older I get the younger I feel. At the moment, I'm about nine.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Oooo, good question. Alexander the Great I think. Or Shakespeare. Is that too boring? OK, how about Sir Isaac Newton who discovered gravity. He was so barmy he once stuck a needle in his eye just to see what would happen.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Hmm, the Grand Canyon definitely has a "wow" factor, but my favourite place in the world is the British Museum in London, which is extraordinary.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Be excellent to each another.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
Nothing. I'm very happy the way I am thankyousoverymuch.
Q: What has life taught you?
The best things are free and the next best things, like books and music, don't cost too much either.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I've always been a scribbler, but have been doing it as a job for about five years.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
Books were always my favourite things but there was a moment when I was waiting for a 441 bus to High Wycombe when I was 14 that I thought, "Yes, I'll be a writer". It took a long, long time though.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
In bed with a laptop on my knees. The best thing about writing is that you can do it anywhere. In summer I usually sit under a cherry tree in the garden.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is when you get a blaze of inspiration and can't write quickly enough to get it all down. The worst thing is when you spend entire days not being able to think of a thing.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Who knows? They just happen from time to time, usually when I'm walking the dogs or sitting in the bath.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
Esmelia Sniff. If I were a woman, I would definitely be Esmelia.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Have a nap. Then try again.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
All of them!
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Anything by Charles Dickens, and luckily had a chance to rewrite A Christmas Carol for young readers last year. It was very difficult because it kept making me cry. Or any of the Mr Gum books by Andy Stanton, which are utterly hilarious.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read everything: books, comics, newspapers, the back of shampoo bottles. And don't be shy.
How to Cook Children
The Wickedest Witch
A Christmas Carol
The White Wand
Alexander The Great