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?
Younger, pinker and less hairy
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Always wanted to be a doctor, despite being rubbish at and not liking the maths required to pursue that career. Took a while for me to realise that if I was going to be doing anything for a very long time, perhaps it might be a good idea if I liked something about it. Painting and drawing were my passion and I followed that instead.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Talks too much - Thinks too little - Often makes mistakes - Means well really
Q: What is your favourite word?
DOLLOP - Who wouldn't like that word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
The modern phenomenon of 'celebrity' - A hollow promise of everything, encouraging young folk with nothing to put themselves in the firing line.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Giant, drunken spiders carrying machine guns
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
This morning when our geriatric dog accidentally sat on our unsuspecting cat. Couldn't tell who looked more surprised or jumped the higher.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A shared sense of humour with my daughter
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I do my hobby for a living - lucky me. - Apart from that I love to watch films, listen to music, read books, look at pictures and sculpture . . .
Q: What strange habits do you have?
Wow, that's a bit personal and possibly embarassing . . . . - How about wearing a wetsuit to tackle the gardening - I don't do that - Or juggling with live gerbils in the shower - I don't do that either - I'll ask my goodly wife to point out behaviour trends of that ilk and fill this in at a later date - or as some might call this - dodge the bullet
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Custard But none of that 'just add water, custard imposter fluid'. It has to be made with custard powder, sugar and milk - like my old mum used to drown various pies and fruit in.
Q: What do you day dream about?
Getting on with my work
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
I'm so tame I'm almost soporific. - Used to love going to fancy dress parties and had a ball cycling across London dressed as a deranged surgeon. It wasn't so much the generous blood splatters on my gown and mask that got attention as the eyeball hanging out of my top pocket.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Writer. - I'm in no position to call myself anything close to that yet. I'm still only a serious dabbler. Illustration is the fire in my blood and what guides me. - Generating my own storylines to follow is another part of the jigsaw I want to become my life.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Head - 25 (it's a bit young - I really need to grow up) - eyes - 50 (They are about right but need a rest) - Knees - 84 (OLD - too much competitive sport, especially badminton. I may have been rubbish, but was a committed flavour of rubbish that had me scampering round the court like a demented flea. Loved every minute of it but am paying the price now)
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
That's a real toughie. - Early thought - my childhood illustrator hero - Norman Rockwell. He was the consumate professional and amazingly productive. So much to learn from his example. - However I reserve the right to change this answer when another of the many heroes I have pops into my head to supercede him.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
The altruistic ability to make folk feel better about themselves - or having a big heart as it may be known in some circunstances
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Tunisia - I'm not well travelled and this was a cultural eye-opener for me. Fascinating place and people. - Also loved the Gaudi Cathedral in Barcelona. Unlike any other religious monument I've been to.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Moderation in all things - An old headmaster lived by this and I admired everything about him. Except for his nose that was even bigger than mine. He could keep that, thanks.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I'd like to be more focused, productive and decisive, ......... I think.
Q: What has life taught you?
Everything is going through change all the time. We aren't around here long. Try to adapt to the changes and make the most of them.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I don't classify myself as a writer yet. Haven't earned the right. It's just somethng I know I have to do as well.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
No. It kind of sneaked in the back door of my subconsciousness some years ago and keeps knocking to be let into the front room.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
In my head as I wander from room to room, until it seeps out through my fingertips into my pc keyboard (where I sit to work on illustrations), to appear by means inexplicable to me on a glowing screen. Magic.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Best - no boundaries - - - Worst - no boundaries
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
By playing word association games, and making truly awful puns on scraps of paper. It encourages lateral thinking and leads to thoughts that would never have occurred to me otherwise.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
A character I'm working with at the moment called Norbut. - However if I tell you anything about him I may have to have you all killed very painfully. - which would probably involve a large number of elastic bands, at least six sticks of rhubabrb and a swarm of angry bees. He's very secretive.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Sleep on it. - I inform myself gently of the problem and then leave it on the 'back-burner'of my brain to simmer on its own. It may not happen strictly to order but sooner or later an answer to any problem pops into my head.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
A lavishly illustrated version of Peter pan. Couldn't get enough of it.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
The outstanding 'His Dark Materials' trilogy by Philip Pullman. - A wonderfully inventive, orginal and disturbing fantasy adventure that tackles many contentious issues. Suitable for children of many ages, but not all.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Keep at it. Persist. Persevere. It takes work.
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