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?
Jokey and chatty.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
An astronaut. I love astronomy and planetary science, but unfortunately I was a bit rubbish at maths, so that was a bit of a non-starter.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
inventive, jolly, spontaneous.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Spiders, my girlfriend (when she catches me eating sweets), running out of sweets.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Whenever my girlfriend comes round. We both have the same sense of humour and laugh at the same stupid things.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
An old US Marvel comic, Avengers 162. I bought it from a jumble sale when I was seven and loved all the bright colourful superheroes jam-packed in the panels. I've been hooked ever since.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Q: What do you day dream about?
Being on Top of The Pops, even though I can't sing or play an instrument. I'd have an annoying one hit wonder.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
I bought a book for £80 containing comicstrips by cartoon innovator, Winsor McCay. It was handmade in Egypt and everything. Unfortunately it's so big and cumbersome, I've hardly ever looked at it!
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
A zookeeper. Animals are brilliant.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Much younger. I've grown a beard to make me feel my proper age.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Charles Schulz, creator of the comicstrip Peanuts. He was very humble about his art. I would love to chew the fat about creating comics with him.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
A stupid sense of humour.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I obsess over the TV program "Lost". I'm a nutjob fanboy.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
To be as personal and honest with my art as possible. Not to try and draw how I think a cartoonist should draw.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
Those terrible adverts for the 25th Anniversary of Eastenders. I scream when I hear the words "Doof doof!".
Q: What has life taught you?
Not to take anything for granted.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
I sing daft made-up songs about everything.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
New York. A crazy place.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
I probably ought not to eat so many sweets.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
My first comic was self-published in 1999.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
When I was at school probably. I always loved creative writing and when the space travelling became a distant dream, writing stupid stories seemed the natural next choice.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
In my bedroom, or if I'm stressed with deadlines, at my studio.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is getting fanmail from readers. Their enthusiasm is always guaranteed to spur me on and write more. The worst is definitely deadlines. Writing and drawing for monthly mags leads to much hair-pulling-out.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Sitting down and staring off into space. I get all my best ideas that way.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
Derek The Sheep is totally autobiographical. He has the same deranged outlook on life that I have.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I scribble sketches in my sketchbook. After half an hour, there'll always be some something to work with.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
Asterix and The Big Fight. I had all the Asterix books as a kid, but this was my first one. I loved the sequence with the druids going crazy making potions that turned them strange colours.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Mammoth Academy on Holiday, by Neal Layton. I've only recently discovered this series and even though it's aimed at 7 year olds, it made me laugh so much I really want to write and draw books as fun as this.
Derek The Sheep
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