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?
I was a bit of a goody-goody at primary school, and very neat. Iíve changed.
Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
Sometimes I wanted to be a journalist, and sometimes a detective Ė both are jobs where you need to have a healthy curiosity. My sister says they're jobs for nosy people.
Q: Which three words describe you best?
Loyal, fair, indecisive.
Q: What is your favourite word?
Beguiling. I have absolutely no idea why. It doesnít even look nice. I just like saying it in my mind.
Q: What makes you cringe?
Injustice. Rudeness. Spiders.
Q: What are you afraid of?
I love to walk by rivers, and I adore paddling in the sea, but Iím scared of water because Iím such a rotten swimmer. Iím not afraid of spiders, but they disgust me.
Q: When did you last have a really good laugh?
Whenever I get together with friends, or with certain members of my family. My best friend and I laugh all the time when we're together, but she (the rotter) has gone to live abroad.
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
I donít really treasure possessions. If the house caught fire Iíd get the family out, then my computer. I do treasure my books, but theyíre replaceable, arenít they?
Q: What strange habits do you have?
I procrastinate. I think itís strange because when I get on with things I feel so good, and when I procrastinate I feel so bad at the end of the day, so why do I do it?
Q: Whatís your favourite food?
I reckon youíre either a bread or potato person, and I wouldnít like to be without potatoes. And chocolate.
Q: What do you day dream about?
Somebody coming to my house while Iím away and redecorating it and fixing all the things that need fixing.
Q: What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?
Acting. Iíd love to be an ugly sister in a pantomime of Cinderella.
Q: Do you feel younger or older than your current age?
Much, much younger. Sometimes I meet people half my age and feel they are more grown-up than me.
Q: If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Just one? Not fair. Jeremy Paxman, P.G. Wodehouse, Anne Boleyn, Charles Dickens...
Q: What quality do you most admire in a person?
Obviously I admire all the good qualities such as loyalty and honesty, but I also admire assertiveness, because Iím such a jelly.
Q: What is the most interesting place you have ever visited?
To answer this, I thought of Egypt and Pompeii and places like that, but I never cease to be fascinated by one historic building which mirrors a thousand years of the history of England, and thatís the Tower of London.
Q: What would you most like to change about yourself?
Iíd like to be 3 inches taller, a little more energetic, tidier and able to sing.
Q: What has life taught you?
Donít wait. I came to writing quite late and itís a big regret that I didnít start earlier. If youíd like to write, do it. Do it now.
Q: Was there a specific moment in your life when you decide to become a writer?
Yes. Sitting in a field in Dorset after a throwaway remark by my husband. One minute the idea had never occurred to me, the next it was as if someone had lit up the inside of my brain. Iíve never stopped since, except for a while after my husband died.
Q: Where do you do your writing?
Sitting at my desk in a downstairs room, looking out on to the garden. Sometimes, if the house is quiet and Iím writing fiction, I migrate to the sofa in the sitting room. Train rides are great for thinking up ideas and working out plots.
Q: What are the best and worst things about being an author?
The best: 1. Being able to do what you love every day of your life if you wish. 2. Having lots of writer friends. 3. Doing loads of interesting research and visiting interesting places. 4. Working on your own. The worst: 1. Not being able to make an idea work. 2. Having a blindingly spiffing idea and finding someone else got there first. 3. Having a story you love rejected. 4. Working on your own.
Q: What do you do to combat ďwritersí blockĒ?
I try not to have time for writersí block. I jot down any and every idea I get, no matter how daft, then thereís always something to turn to if Iím stuck for a fresh idea.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Keep reading, keep writing, never ever give up.
Road to War
Diggers and Dumpers
To Kill a Queen
The Grumpy Queen
Boudica and her Barmy Army