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?
Very naughty! I loved English, Art and History and was dreadful at Science. Now, though, I wish I'd studied harder at Science as it's such an important subject.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
An actor or a writer.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Quick, funny, kind.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
Cruelty and rudeness.
Q: What are you afraid of?
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
I laugh all the time, so that's tricky to answer!
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
The photographs of my children when they were growing up. That's what I'd try to save in a fire.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
I do a lot of walking and I like thinking in quiet, green spaces. Thinking is very underrated! If you want to write,you need to be quiet to hear the ideas as they come.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
I sit under trees for a long time, which most people would probably think is either boring or strange!
Q: What’s your favourite food?
A fresh peach.
Q: What do you day dream about?
I talk to the characters in my books and ask them what they want to happen next. They become real in my mind.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Younger, of course! Although I am enjoying being older, as I feel a lot wiser now.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
There are several: intelligence, curiosity and kindness. And I like people who are motivated.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
A secret cave in New South Wales, Australia, which has some ancient Aborigine rock paintings. It was an amazing experience.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
My dear old dad always said,'Do something because you love it and want do it the best you can. Never do anything just to make money. If you do something with all your heart, the money will follow.' That's good advice and I've always tried to follow it.
Q: What has life taught you?
That you have to be patient and keep trying.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
I became a journalist in 1999, then turned to writing children's fiction in 2007.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
Not really, but there was a very specific moment when I had the idea for The Sprite Sister stories. It was 1.30am on January 21st 2007. I was sitting in bed, writing my diary and suddenly thought, 'Four girls with magic powers, east, south, north west'. The 'big' ideas are often the simplest, I've found. It's easy to let them pass by.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
I move around the house, from the office to the kitchen and sometimes the sitting room or garden. It depends on the heat and noise outside.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best thing is that you are free to live iside your head. The worst thing is trying to earn enough money to keep going while you write the books.
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
I don't know where they come from: they are suddenly in my head. One minute, they are not there and the next they are. Who knows where they come from. It's magic!
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
In my Sprite Sister books, I am probably most like the eldest sister Flame (fiery, organised and straight-speaking), and the youngest sister, Ariel, (ditzy, dreamy and always getting into trouble).
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
Walk in the trees!
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Watch, listen and keep a diary. Write about what matters to you and what you know and feel.
The Sprite Sisters:The Circle of Power
The Sprite Sisters: The Magic Unfolds
The Sprite Sisters: The Secret of the Towers
The Sprite Sisters: The Ghost in the Tower
The Sprite Sisters: New Magic