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 was a big daydreamer and was often told off for staring out of the window or doodling when I should have been doing quadratic equations or declining Latin verbs. I was good at Art and English and loved Science, but my Maths was hopeless, so I tended to choose arty subjects to study. I was quite sporty as well.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
An actor. Or a cowboy. Or a spy. Or an astronaut.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Ah, ooo, um, er... indecisive. I think.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Pellucid. One of these days I must find out what it means.
Q: What makes you cringe?
Memories of embarrassing moments. I have an odd memory. I often forget the good moments, but never forget the bad. I wish it was the other way around!
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Watching "Outnumbered" the other night.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
Probably my computer, because it has so much of me on it... photos, books, ideas, drawings, paintings and so on.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I play a lot of squash, and golf when I can. And more common things like gardening and walking, though I'm not sure they class as hobbies.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Shepherds' pie, or roast dinners.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
No matter where I find myself -- in a forest, or a cathedral or up a mountain-- I have this odd habit of trying to guess how far I could hit a golf ball. Go figure.
Q: What do you day dream about?
Stories. And how far I could hit a golf ball.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
It's not really that outrageous at all, but when I was about 5 or 6, I once hid inside an armchair, (yes, inside!) for about two hours because I didn't want to go to my piano lesson. And when I was 4, I eloped with the girl next door. We got as far as a neighbour's shed, two gardens away, and nearly gave our parents heart attacks. I was a very romantic 4 year old.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Film maker. Pilot.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
One of my brothers used to work as an animator at Dreamworks and then Warner Bros in Los Angeles. He showed me round the two studios and they were extraordinary places. You could practically see the creative energy crackling in the air.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I'd like to have thick floppy blonde hair that I could flick to one side with a nonchalant toss of my head. Sadly, these days I'm a bit of a slaphead.
Q: What has life taught you?
I'm still trying to figure that one out.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Don't use so many exclamation marks!!!!
Q: How long have you been a writer?
The first book that I wrote as well as illustrated was published in 1997, but I've got notebooks full of manuscripts that date back long before that.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
I remember listening to 'The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy' on the radio and thinking "That's brilliant! I'd like to do that."
Q: Where do you do your writing?
In notebooks around the house, or in front of my computer in my studio. If the weather's good, it's nice to work outside in the garden. A change of scenery can often spark off new ideas.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is trying to invent characters and ideas that no one has thought of before. The worst thing is being on your own too much. Writing and illustrating are usually very solitary jobs, and I like to have people around me, if possible.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Other people, other stories, things you read about, things that happen to you or to other people, current events, not-so-current events. You name it.... anything and everything.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I use 'Un-Blocko for Authors'. It comes in a tube and you rub into the tips of your typing fingers. But you can only buy it from licensed literary agents.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
The Once and Future King by T.H.White
Macmillan Children's Books
Dinosaurs of Doom
Way Out West
Move It! Builders