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 did you want to be when you were a child?
I'm pretty sure I wanted to be a fireman. I certainly remember making a fireman's hat out of newspaper. Which, come to think of it, would not have been very useful in a fire.
Q: What makes you cringe?
'Celebrities' who 'write' books.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
When I tried to hit a topspin backhand at tennis. I think that ball might be near Mars by now.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I love to play tennis and I enjoy card games. Most of all I like to listen to and play music - I can have a go on the piano, guitar and ukulele.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
I cook a nice curry.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
I am a teacher as well as a writer, so I have another profession. It is very hard work!
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Pompeii, the Roman town buried by a volcanic eruption. It's amazing to walk the same streets as the Romans. The Egyptian pyramids were pretty good, too...
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I was a journalist for several years. Then I wrote for adults. I've been a children's writer (definitely the best of these) for about three years.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
I write non-fiction at the computer where I can access the internet. I write fiction at my kitchen table using pencil and paper.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Best: seeing readers enjoying my books. Worst: trying to get commissions.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
I seem to get good ideas while I am brushing my teeth. Perhaps I should brush them more.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Plan, plan and plan. Oh, and if you can't think how to explain something, imagine you are talking about it. Write what you would say.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
I used to read about a schoolboy called Jennings, who was a bit naughty and had lots of adventures. But the author always included exactly the same paragraph of description of the characters, which I thought was pretty lazy.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Read as much as you can, and keep going with the writing.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
At school I always thought I would be a writer, and then found it was quite hard to become one!
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Lots. There are fantastic books around. However, I did name my house after Lyra, the hero of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy.
The Pharaoh's Toothache
The Rainforest Express
Victor Wouk, Father of the Hybrid Car