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?
Shy and a swot! But I had a group of close friends whom I'm still in contact with - one of them is still one of my closest friends.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Two things - a Blue Peter presenter and a children's writer!
Q: Which three words describe you best?
friendly, creative, energetic? Ask my friends!
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
I don't know till it happens!
Q: What are you afraid of?
Heights, small spaces and crossing big bridges! I only discovered the latter when my oldest son went to uni in Cardiff and I drove across the Severn bridge!
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Just the other day - but I'm not telling you why! :D
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
My photos of my children when they were little - they're all in a suitcase ready to grab if the house burns down!
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Swim, walk, read, (I'm in 3 book groups!) There are loads of things I also do that I enjoy but more sporadically - visit art galleries etc, knit, do Tudor re-enactment, bake...life is too short!
Q: What strange habits do you have?
I don't sleep much - people find that very strange! And I clean my teeth so much the dentist had to tell me to stop!
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Good scones with a pot of tea. Great soup.
Q: What do you day dream about?
Having an Irish wolfhound.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
I can't say!!! But it seemed fairly outrageous not to send my children to school for 14 years and to educate them at home!
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I multi task anyway - I run a youth theatre and I'm a counsellor - but I've always fancied being a midwife or an alternative undertaker - just to go for the extremes!
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Obviously I must feel younger - a close friend recently told me that I dressed inappropriately - oh dear!!!
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Dead - St Paul - I'd have some challenging questions for him! Alive - Jamie Oliver - I so admire his 'can do' attitude.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
The passion to want to do something and to see it through
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Stockport! I was born there which makes me slightly biased but it has so much to offer the tourist! Hatworks is one of the few museums I have deliberately visited more than once, the air raid shelters cut into the riverbanks are fascinating, there's also the unique Staircase House and loads more besides! Oooh - when can I next go?
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
In the end, you are on your own.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I would like to be braver.
Q: What has life taught you?
To expect to be surprised.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
Professionally, since 1997 but I've been writing on and off since I was about 6.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
Yes - when I was a teacher and I realised that if I was going to do it, I had to start! So I started getting up early to teach myself to type!
Q: Where do you do your writing?
In my study. It's a real privilege! I used to have a space on the landing and I felt like ring-fencing it with barbed wire!
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is that it has given me opportunities to do things I never expected - like trips to China and Moscow, like helping children to write and publish their own books, like running a kids' book group and an adult's creative writing group, like writing a book for teenagers with spinal cord injuries...and so on. I'm not going to dwell on the worst things! :D
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Anywhere and everywhere! But I do love looking for the gaps in other stories! Hence my books 'Fur' and 'Piper'.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
Kate in the 'My Mum' books.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I don't get it! My life is a crazy mix of professional writing and other things - so if I get time to write, it's a privilege and I have to get on with it!
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
There were many - but I particularly loved 'Little House in the Big Woods' by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
'Holes' by Louis Sachar
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read! The more you read, the better writer you will be!
The 'My Mum' series
Out of Print
The St Jenni' series
Out of Print
No More School
Back to Front
Wha'ever - the teenager's guide to spinal cord injury
Spinal Injuries Association
Getting Ready for Christmas
Elizabeth 1st - the story of the last Tudor Queen