Authors Hotline - Where authors and their readers connect
CW4K

The Author Hotline

is 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

Stephen George

Rob Keeley

http://www.robkeeley.co.uk
wordsmithrk@hotmail.co.uk
To download this profile page, click HERE 


Q: What were you like at school?

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Ha ha! Er... Always busy, always talking, always doing something. And always, always reading and writing. I was already writing stories and plays when I was at primary school. My friends and I used to act out these little plays I'd written. Once, I wrote a sort of sword and sorcery play (of which I've used a little bit in my new book "The (Fairly) Magic Show" - it's in tale number seven, "Only A Story"). I got to final dress rehearsal to find that the red dragon had gone off rollerblading. I'd lost an actor. I had to play the dragon as well as the King, dressed in red and changing quickly between crown and dragon mask.

Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?

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A writer. Always. I always knew I wanted to write books for children. (I'll stop saying "always" in a minute, promise.) And I wanted to work with computers, back when everyone didn't have one and they seemed magical. Looks like I got both my wishes! Must send my fairy godmother a Christmas card this year.

Q: Which three words describe you best?

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Busy. Thoughtful. Whatever the word is for not giving up.

Q: What is your favourite word?

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Friday.

Q: What makes you cringe?

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Alarm clocks going off. I haven't used one for years. My brain wakes me up on time (or usually, too early).

Q: What are you afraid of?

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Getting it wrong.

Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?

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Just now, when I saw what my profile photo looked like on-screen. I look like a toothpaste advert.

Q: What is your most treasured possession?

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I'd say my signet ring, which was a birthday present from family a few years ago. I once managed to drop it under my desk and it took forever to find. And I couldn't do without my mobile. I once threw it across a room by mistake when I forgot it was in a magazine I was reading. They make phones tough, these days.

Q: What do you do as a hobby?

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It used to be writing, but that's my job now! I read, meet friends, do quiz nights sometimes (as a contestant or hosting). I do a few magic tricks and used to play the keyboard a bit, but I'm not much good at either. My short story "The (Fairly) Magic Show" (the first story in my new book) is about someone trying to learn magic for the first time, and that's me as a kid.

Q: What strange habits do you have?

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I wave my hands when I get excited.

Q: What’s your favourite food?

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Steak. Or, if you're a vegetarian reading this, cheese. Or, if you're a vegan reading this, please go on to the next question.

Q: What do you day dream about?

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Stories. And people, in other words, characters. Always. (There's that word again.)

Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?

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When I was a student (the first time), I once had to cross a hall full of other students eating pizza, and I was dressed as Harry Potter. I was half an hour early for the party.

Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

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I'd love to be a professional magician, but I'm nowhere near good enough.

Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?

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Younger.

Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

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Mmm... difficult one. Roald Dahl would be good. And Helen Cresswell and Richmal Crompton, two more brilliant children's authors who sadly are no longer with us. All are big favourites of mine.

Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?

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Listening.

Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?

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I'd say Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. It's always busy, always changing, people are there from all over the world, there's so much to see and do.

Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?

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Write, then re-write.

Q: What has life taught you?

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Keep trying.

Q: How long have you been a writer?

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Since I was about seven. Have a look above and on my website at www.robkeeley.co.uk to find out more! UPDATE MARCH 2015: Since I first wrote this profile, there's lots of exciting news been added to www.robkeeley.co.uk, including details of my new book "The Spirit of London" and the chance to vote for "Childish Spirits" for the People's Book Prize! Have a look at: http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1254 (You can download the first two chapters FREE from here.) http://www.robkeeley.co.uk

Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?

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No, it just came, it was what I did. I loved reading and making stories up and being transported to other worlds through reading and pretending. And then I started to write it down.

Q: Where do you do your writing?

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At my desk, in front of my computer. Sorry I can't come up with anything more exciting! I've no writing shed or cafe to talk about.

Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?

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Best: you write, and you get paid for it. Worst: there are people who still refuse to believe you have a proper job!

Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

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You never really know. But if you're very lucky, just sometimes, they come. It's as if someone has switched a light on, and you're away.

Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?

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Justin is a character I particularly like - always kind, always ready to believe the best of everybody, always there for friends like Liam - even when they don't deserve it! And he has his own way of looking at things, which no one else ever completely understands. Maybe that's a bit like me.

Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?

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Work on something else. Or go for a walk or a cup of tea. Or sometimes, if you're stuck on one scene in a story, you can write a later scene and then it's like a jigsaw - you've got the surrounding pieces and can see how to fill the gap. Some writers would hate my saying that: "You can't write a scene without knowing what's happening before!" But it works for me.

Q: What was your favourite book as a child?

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I had so many. But the first full children's novel I ever read was "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". I knew that off by heart when I was about eight.

Q: What book do you wish you had written?

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A classic book for adults called "The Diary of a Nobody" - look it up, it's very funny and all the 'diary' books since owe something to it.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

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Keep trying. You'll have people say 'no' to your work - quite a lot. But don't give up. Have confidence in yourself. Don't let anyone, ever, tell you your work is no good. And above all, enjoy your writing.

Search Other Profiles
My Books
  • The Dinner Club and Other Stories

    The Dinner Club and Other Stories

    ISBN
    978-1-78306-060-3
    Published By
    Matador (Troubador Publishing)
    Status
    In Print

  • The Alien in the Garage and Other Stories

    The Alien in the Garage and Other Stories

    ISBN
    978-1848765-795
    Published By
    Matador (Troubador Publishing)
    Status
    In Print

  • The (Fairly) Magic Show and Other Stories

    The (Fairly) Magic Show and Other Stories

    ISBN
    978-1780883-014
    Published By
    Matador (Troubador Publishing)
    Status
    In Print

  • Childish Spirits

    Childish Spirits

    ISBN
    9781783064618
    Published By
    Matador (Troubador Publishing)
    Status
    In Print