Authors Hotline - Where authors and their readers connect
CW4K

The Author Hotline

is 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

Stephen George

Geraldine McCaughrean

http://www.geraldinemccaughrean.co.uk

To download this profile page, click HERE 


Q: What were you like at school?

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I was shy and not very bright. I travelled in the gleaming wake of an older sister and brother who were both brilliant, so I suppose I was a bit of a disappointment. The teachers (with one exception) certainly made me feel so. You might have thought they would notice that I loved the literature we studied – Keats and Shakespeare and so on – but love did not seem to count for very much. I had a good time, though, writing stories for my mates and reading them out in breaktime.

Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?

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A horse. A knight. A North American Indian. A spy.

Q: Which three words describe you best?

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Forgetful Fantacist – I forget what else

Q: What is your favourite word?

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euphonious

Q: What makes you cringe?

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People explaining jokes

Q: What are you afraid of?

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Spiders (and dying, of course)

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

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A brooch my best friend Emma made me – a silver Peter Pan – when I wrote Peter Pan in Scarlet. I have to wear it whenever I do anything in public. She died soon after, cycling to work, so be careful, everybody on two wheels, of lorries turning left.

Q: What do you do as a hobby?

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I write.

Q: What do you day dream about?

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I have a whole imaginary world I never write about, peopled by all sorts of characters it is good to spend time with.

Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?

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Moi?

Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

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I would like to be a photographer for much the same reasons that I write – to capture a moment in time and fix it on paper for ever.

Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

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Aphra Benn – a woman playwright in Elizabethan times.

Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?

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Self-containment – they keep their thoughts and sorrows secret while all about them are prattling on.

Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?

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Albania before it opened up to the outside world. There were machine gun emplacements on the rooftops and signs hanging in all the trees saying “Beware of Spies”.

Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

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Hitch your wagon to a star.

Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?

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I’d like to be able to get spoken words out as well as written ones. … Mind you, another good piece of advice I was give was: Don’t apologise for not being able to be someone else.

Q: What has life taught you?

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Some people are different from the rest of us – and so are the rest of us. (Clive James said it first, but he’s not wrong)

Q: How long have you been a writer?

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I’ve been writing stories since I was 8 – so I suppose I’ve been a writer for 50 years. I’ve been getting published, though for only 30 of those years.

Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?

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No. I thought you had to be clever and go to university to be a writer, so it never occurred to me. Why, am I a writer, then? Gosh!

Q: Where do you do your writing?

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In bed, if I’m allowed. I used to write in the bath, but now and then the notebook would fall in the water and I would lose weeks of work.

Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?

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The best thing is travelling inside my own head to places I’ve never been and doing things I could never achieve in real life; investing my hero/heroine with all those qualities I don’t have; going on adventures without actually getting killed. What’s worst? Having to get up and talk about it.

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

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Snippets of fact I’ve read or seen on TV. Real Life comes up with much stranger scenarios than anything you could invent just sitting looking at the all and sucking on a pencil.

Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?

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If anyone knows, please tell me.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child?

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Joseph and his Brothers in Egypt. The illustrations showed men in transparent white skirts with their legs showing. It seemed wonderfully exotic to me.

Q: What book do you wish you had written?

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Jeremiah in the Dark Wood by Allan Ahlberg – perfect spacing, perfect placing of the perfect word.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

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Don’t do it unless you don’t care in the least whether you get published or not. That way no one can break your heart by rejecting your work. The joy needs to be all in the writing.

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