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: How long have you been a writer?
I've been a professional writer for about 30 years. But I've been writing stories ever since I was six years old. I've written over 50 books to date, mostly for children, and these have sold in 21 different countries including Japan, Iceland and Brazil, and been shortlisted for several awards. They include myths and fairy tales from all over the world, fiction and non-fiction. At the moment, I'm working on a major new historical fiction series, GRIM GRUESOME VIKING VILLAIN. It's fast moving, exciting, scary and fun, very easy to read and full of things like sword fights, treasure and pirates. You can find out more on my website, www.grimgruesome.com The best of my earlier books are my collections of myths and fairy tales from India, China, Native America and the world's Rain Forests; my retelling of 'King Arthur', and my two children's novels with ecological themes: 'The Sea is Singing' and 'Who Ever Heard of a Vegetarian Fox?' I've also retold numerous traditional tales for school reading schemes etc. For adults I've written two collections: 'English Fairy Tales and Legends' and 'The Mythical Quest', and I'm currently writing a book of 'Arthurian Tales'.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
I never 'decided' to become a writer. Like most serious writers, I didn't have a choice. I just had to do it. I still have to do it all the time. It's either a gift or a burden, depending on how you see it. But there's no escape from it.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
I have my own small office at home. On the walls are pictures of a wolf, Wizard Merlin from my retelling of 'King Arthur' and an old Japanese print of a misty forest. An ivy plant is slowly growing up the walls and all round the room, and from my window I can see the wild hills of Northumberland.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best things are: (1) being able to create the sort of stories I want to read! (2) hearing from people who have enjoyed my books (3) never being bored - because there are always new stories to think about. There aren't any worst things - I love being an author!
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Thinking, thinking, always thinking. Especially lying in a long, hot bath. Or walking in the wild, windswept hills where I live.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
I've never had writers' block. Don't have time for it! Writing is a job, there are so many stories I still want to write, and I just get on with what I have to do.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', and 'The Magician's Nephew' from the Narnia series. I still love them. Also 'The Secret Garden'. And the 'Colour Fairy Books'.
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
All the ones I haven't yet had time to write!
Grim Gruesome Viking villain: THE CURSED SWORD
Grim Gruesome Viking villain: THE QUEEN'S POISON
Grim Gruesome Viking villain: TROLLS' TREASURE