Gwen Grant's Home Page

Gwen Grant

Interviewed by children from Huntingdon Primary School, St Ann's, Nottingham, UK
at the Adventures in Cyberspace Library Summer School
July 31st — August 4th 2000

What is it like being a writer?

It's interesting and absorbing: when I'm writing it's as if time doesn't exist...

What's your favourite book of your own?

Private - Keep Out, even though it was one of my first: because it was about my family.

Where do your ideas come from?

I read one story in a newspaper about how a dog was thrown out of a car at the side of the road where it had its pups and one pup was killed. I wrote that story as Gypsy Racers. I didn't want to kill the pup, but it had to be true to the newspaper story.

If you weren't an author, what would you be?

A have a degree in philosophy, so I'd be a philosopher and think about things.

How did you become a writer?

I come from a family of storytellers, and I wrote mine down. I started to write at 10 but my first publication was when I was 18, when I published a poem. I wrote poems and plays before I wrote a book.

I was in a hospital school for a year, where I told stories to all the other children.

Are any of your stories true?

Knock and Wait is based on my year in hospital. Children weren't allowed to cry however small they were, and when I came out I couldn't cry if I wanted to, and even now I find it difficult.

Private -- Keep Out and One Way Only were also about my family.

What's your saddest book?

They all tend to end hopefully.

Where do you write?

In an office at home in the third bedroom.

How many books have you written?

I have written about 16 books over a long period of time. Now I am getting letters from the children of the children who read my books when they first came out.

Do you include yourself in stories?

I'm in every story: in every goodie and in every baddie, because we are all a mixture.

Do you plan your stories?

"I wish...." Not usually, in fact. Earthsearch, the book I'm writing now, is going to be long. I work towards an ending. I think about the story all night before I start writing. I plunge straight in with a story in my head.

Is it nice to be a writer?

I love being a writer, I wouldn't do anything else.

Have you won any awards?

I won the Acorn Award for picture books for Jonpanda in 1992 and I was shortlisted for several other awards, including the Carnegie, The Guardian Children's, the Other Award, the Lancashire County Children's Book Award.

Do you draw the pictures in your books?

No, I work with different illustrators.

Do you get ideas from TV?

I don't find television very inspiring. My book Little Blue Car is going to be animated for TV.

What were you into as a child?

Dancing: I still go dancing a lot.

Who is your favourite author?

John Steinbeck

Which is the best-selling of your own books?

Private -- Keep Out, and Little Blue Car. My books have been translated and sell all over the world.

Biography | Books | Interview | Contact | Workshops

Interview by children at Adventures In Cyberspace

Writing by children at Gwen Grant's workshop at Adventures in Cyberspace

Last amended 03-Oct-2000
©2000 Huntingdon Primary School and Kids on the Net