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?
When we were children, Steve Barlow wanted to fly aeroplanes, Steve Skidmore wanted to play basketball, but Barlow can't see a thing without his glasses and Skidmore is too short so they decided to try writing instead.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
We laugh all the time - when we're writing, when we visit schools - if being a writer wasn't fun, we wouldn't do it.
Q: What do you do as a hobby?
Steve Barlow has a small yacht called 'Whichway', which he sails from Weymouth. Steve Skidmore supports Leicester Tigers RFC.
Q: What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve done?
Writing books and imagining anyone would want to read them.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
We're nobbut kids. Nobody ever grows up, they just get older.
Q: What were you like at school?
Steve Barlow was good at writing, Steve Skidmore was rubbish at spelling but he was good at sports, at which Steve Barlow was rubbish. Both were rubbish at maths.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
The Two Steves!
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: What makes you cringe?
Eastenders. Everyone's so miserable all the time! Why can't they go on a nice picnnic?
Q: What are you afraid of?
The puppy in the toilet roll commercials. Imagine - you're on the loo and the stupid creature comes in and steals all the loo roll and runs off with it and then - aaaargh!
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
We don't treasure possessions, only people.
Q: What strange habits do you have?
Sailing and watching rugby. Especially in the rain. And eating crisps in bed.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Fish, and seafood generally. Oysters are yummy!
Q: What do you day dream about?
Sorry, what? I wasn't paying attention...
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
We'd like to be explorers but only if we could go home at mealtimes.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Douglas Adams, who wrote The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - and luckily, we did meet him, and he was a very nice man.
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Honesty. People who say they like our books are always honest, that's how we can tell.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
Beijing in China. Just amazing.
Q: What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Life isn't a fairground ride. When you've finished, you don't get to go round again. Make the most of it the first time.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
It would be great to have three arms so we could eat ice cream as we're typing.
Q: What has life taught you?
Losers are people who fail and give up. Winners are people have who fail and keep going.
Q: How long have you been a writer?
We've have been writing together for over 20 years and have published over 140 books.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
We write from our homes and use webcam to communicate and share ideas.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
Best thing - being able to take a day off whenever you like. Worst thing - we never have time to take days off.
Q: Which of your own characters do you most identify with?
The grumpy ones.
Q: What do you do to combat “writers’ block”?
We don't really know what that is - plumbers don't get plumber's block. There are two of us, so if one of us is stuck, the other can usually find a way round the problem.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Think about your endings first. Read lots. Write lots. Don't give up.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
When we said to people, "I'd quite like to be a writer," and they said, "You? You'll never be a writer!" and we thought, "All right, then - we'll see about that."
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
Real life. We write about things that happen to us, but we have to change them, because if we wrote down everything that really happened, nobody would believe it.
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
Steve Barlow - The Sword in the Stone Steve Skidmore - Winnie The Pooh
Q: What book do you wish you had written?
Oh, come on! Harry Potter! Then we'd be rich! Actually, the real answer is that we like the books we write. If we didn't, we'd write different ones.
Don't Look Back!
Dragonsdale by Salamanda Drake (us really!)
Challenger: Return to the Lost World