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What do you want to say through your writing?

At my recent book launch for the first of the Firebird Chronicles, Rise of the Shadow Stealers, I was asked what I wanted to say through the book. Part of me wanted to answer, “Read it and draw your own conclusions!” but actually I think it’s a fair question. If you’re going to write a […]

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What inspired YOU to start writing?

I’d love to tell a romantic story about being the sort of child who scribbled stories whenever I had a free moment and dreamt about being an author as I read books under the bedcovers. It’s true I did once win a storytelling competition at school – something to do with a disappearing elephant from […]

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What unique disciplines do you need when writing for children?

Perhaps the most obvious one is enjoying reading children’s literature yourself. Personally I love kid’s books! Because of this, I’m not really writing for children (although, of course, you do keep your audience in mind, especially in the later drafts) I’m just writing the sort of stories I love to read. Why do I love […]

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Would you ever consider writing a book aimed entirely at adults?

Yes, but not yet. At the moment I need to focus on writing for children and become known for doing so. Audiences (and publishers) like to know what to expect, and to change to quickly would confuse things. In some ways that’s a pragmatic decision about building a recognisable ‘brand’, but also I love writing […]

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Who are your favourite muses and influences…

(…and do you intentionally collaborate with anyone in putting together the plot and its redrafts?) This question has made me think a lot! In terms of muses and influences, I’m not sure I’m particularly planned. Some people consume thier culture with precision, knowing exactly what ‘their thing’ is and following all the logical connections. I’m more […]

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How do you write?

(i.e. in disciplined chunks of so many words a day or as the story flows.) It tends to be seasonal – there are times when I focus on writing and try to minimise other work (often I kick this off by going away for a few days). In those times I tend to be pretty […]

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How do you decide character names?

Good question! Sometimes, as with Mr Bumbler or Grizelda, it’s just because I like the sound of the name and I think it fits the character. Mostly though there’s some meaning behind my characters’ names. As Rise of the Shadow Stealers is a story about stories and story characters, some of the names play with […]

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When did your thoughts and ideas start becoming a book?

I started working with the main characters in Rise of the Shadow Stealers back in 2000 for children’s holiday clubs, but back then they went under different names. I developed them further a couple of years later whilst working on some audio dramas for a friend’s website. I think I decided to have a go […]

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Will there be a part two?

Yes, I’m working in it now. Hopefully it won’t take me as long as the last one! I already have the skeleton of a plot and am developing the characters. One of them will be an old friend – a half-French, half-English pirate. If you’re not sure who that is, have a look through some […]