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?
What were you like at school? Hmmm. Depends what day of the week. I could be shy, angry, bad, good. I was clever at languages and English but terrible at maths and science. I got in trouble often but I was careful what rules I broke. I didnít do dangerous things or hurt other people. I was a real mixture.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Different things at different times. I never thought of being a writer because I thought writers were all dead. (Because the authors of the books I read at school WERE all dead.) I wanted to ride horses, mostly.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Temperamental, over-sensitive, perfectionist
Q: What is your favourite word?
Dreich - itís a Scots word used to describe horrible weather, when itís grey, damp, cold, miserable, slightly rainy. I quite often get the chance to use it. Very often in Scotland two people will meet in the street and one will say, "The word dreich was just made for today." And the other one will nod. And then they will both run inside to get dry and warm. We have fabulous weather, too. On all the days when it's not dreich.
Q: What makes you cringe?
Appearing stupid in public.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Appearing stupid in public. Failure. Deep water. Slugs. Snails. Frogs. Toads. Spiders. Dislocating my knee. (And lots of things that are much worse than that so Iím not going to think about them.)
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
I am pathetically fond of my iphone.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Cooking. Other things too but cooking is my favourite hobby.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
I always lock the bathroom door even when thereís no one in the house.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
I think that niceness is very important. Nice people make other people feel happy and they make me feel happy. I try to be nice too. (It doesnít always work!)
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
The best advice is not to mind what people think about me. But I havenít managed to follow it.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
Iíd like not to mind what people think about me! Trouble is, then I might not be very nice. Which wouldnít be very nice.
Q: What has life taught you?
That everythingís a phase, so things that feel bad now will always get better.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
Iíve been writing ever since I can remember. But I only got my first novel published in 2002. Iíd had some other small things published before then. But I failed to get published for a very long time. That was horrible but now Iím having such fun!
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
I decided I wanted to be a novelist when I was in my final year at university. Before that I did want to be a writer but not specifically novels.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Well, everythingís a phase and no habit is unbreakable, but at the moment I always write either at my desk or on a sofa, always using a laptop.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Reviews. (Best and worst!)
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
My head. Usually either when I'm out walking (on my own) or when I wake up in the middle of the night.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
Livia in Sleepwalking, Cat in Deathwatch and Jack and Jess in Wasted.
Q: What do you do to combat ďwritersí blockĒ?
Agonise, talk to a friend, tell everyone I know, panic, and then walk with the dog until an idea comes.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
Different ones at different times: The Little white Horse, The Black Tulip, I Can Jump Puddles, What Katy Did / Next /At School
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
My next one.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
1. Read your work aloud, imagining that your audience are desperate to go outside into the sunshine. 2. Read lots of books - never stop reading. 3. Be determined to get better. 4. And be patient. 5. Oh, and always think of your reader.
The Highwayman's Footsteps
Blame My Brain