is it like being a writer?
interesting and absorbing: when I'm writing it's as if time doesn't
your favourite book of your own?
- Keep Out, even though it was one of my first: because it was about
do your ideas come from?
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.
you weren't an author, what would you be?
a degree in philosophy, so I'd be a philosopher and think about things.
did you become a writer?
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.
in a hospital school for a year, where I told stories to all the other
any of your stories true?
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.
-- Keep Out and One Way Only were also about my family.
your saddest book?
all tend to end hopefully.
do you write?
office at home in the third bedroom.
many books have you written?
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.
you include yourself in stories?
every story: in every goodie and in every baddie, because we are all
you plan your stories?
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.
it nice to be a writer?
being a writer, I wouldn't do anything else.
you won any awards?
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.
you draw the pictures in your books?
work with different illustrators.
you get ideas from TV?
find television very inspiring. My book Little Blue Car is going to
be animated for TV.
were you into as a child?
I still go dancing a lot.
is your favourite author?
is the best-selling of your own books?
-- Keep Out, and Little Blue Car. My books have been translated and
sell all over the world.