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Want to know what it's like to be a writer, when my next book is out, how to get hold of my books or ANYTHING AT ALL?? Send in your questions and I'll pick one or two each month to answer!
Which of your books is your favourite?
(Thanks to Ema for this question)
My fave book is usually the one I’ve just finished working on, so right now it is Blueberry Wishes, the third in the Rainbow Beauty series. Also, I have always really liked Best Friends Forever and Style School from the Totally Lucy series and The Haunted House Kittens from Animal S.O.S and Emily and Emerald from Pony Camp Diaries and Fairy Party from The Fairy House… So lots of favourites really!
If one of your characters could come alive, which would it be?
(Thanks to Rosie for this question)
I think it would have to be Lucy from Totally Lucy or Abbie from Rainbow Beauty. I’d love to have dinner with them in a cafe or all go shopping. And maybe Ellie from Half a Sister would be a bit scary, but fun!
What inspired you to write the Rainbow Beauty books and will there be any more?
(Thanks to Rubie, Layla, Livia, Mia and Tia for this question)
Lots of things and people inspired me to write Rainbow Beauty – I love buying little handmade soaps and cosmetics and my own mum is an aromatherapist and massage therapist, so I already enjoyed blending oils together (and I had even more fun creating new combinations for the books!). I wanted to write something about young women starting a business – total girl power! – and about a family in crisis and especially about the relationships between sisters, which I sort of started in Half a Sister, and wanted to carry on exploring. And so many girls asked me about having a book with a huge ROMANCE in it, I just had to give it to them! (and I loved writing about Abbie and Marco – sigh!).
There are three books in the series at the moment, and I don’t know if there are any more – we’ll have to see what happens and how well they sell, as that affects the publisher’s decision. I was definitely only doing three but I’m not so sure now! What really helps is if girl fans like you can spread the word about the series to your friends and even leave reviews on Amazon and that kind of thing! A big massive thank you if you do those things!
How old were you when you wrote your first book? What was it called?
When I wrote my very first book I was about 8 – it was a book of poems called Sunny Days Forever, which my Dad typed up copies off and printed covers for. I sold them to my family – yes, I made them pay for copies! Then I wrote a picture book called Billy’s Ghost when I was about 11, and my first published book was Spirulina and the Pirates, from the Mermaid Rock series, which I wrote when I was 23. That was over ten years ago and I’ve been writing books ever since!
Thanks to Lucy for this question
Help! I want to write a story but have no idea where to start!
I’m working on a new series at the moment, so I’ll tell you what I do, in case that helps! First I write down lots of ideas about what could happen, then I write down lots of questions, like, ‘OK, so, what is the friend called? Does she have brothers and sisters? What kind of house does the main character live in? What’s her fave food?’ and loads of things like that, then build up the answers to these until I know the characters really well (remember to take your notebooks everywhere, so you can keep adding to your ideas). You could also try making no notes at all but just start writing in the voice of the character and see what comes out – that can be surprising, and really fun!
Thanks to Emily for this question
What is your favourite poem?
I have lots of favourites, and I love galloping rhythms, so two of them are ‘Stufferation’ by Adrian Mitchell (who I was once lucky enough to perform my own poems with!) and ‘A Subaltern’s Love Song’ by John Betjeman which has a fantastic train chugging rhythm that you can’t get out of your head.
Hope you enjoy them if you get to read them!
Thanks to Hermione for this question
Have you ever been stuck whilst writing a book?
Not badly stuck, like for weeks, thank goodness! But definitely stuck on some days! Sometimes being stuck is your brain’s way of telling you that you need to go and do something else (something active is good, like swimming or dancing) and then come back to your story. That’s a bit difficult if you’re writing one in class, isn’t it?! But try it if you’re at home – it really works! The other thing being stuck could be telling you is to go back to your notes and have a bit more of a daydream about your characters and plot, and work up some more notes and ideas before you carry on – i.e. you might be stuck because you’re not sure where the story is going next. If this happens, get your notebook, have a stare out of the window (also tricky if you’re in class – sorry if I get you told off!) and imagine yourself into your character’s shoes. How is she or he feeling? What do they want to achieve? Who or what might stop them? What are they scared of? That kind of thing. I do feel very sorry for you all when you have to write a story in class as there is a pressure to get something down on paper, even if it’s not ready in your head. But then, sometimes pressure can be good as it makes you get on with it and you might be surprised how much you can get done in just one lesson! But I do also feel sorry for you if you’re stuck in class because you (probably!) don’t have access to Curly Wurlys. My brain is powered by them so if I get REALLY stuck a trip to the shop for some more usually does the trick too! Hope that helps, girls, and happy writing!
Thanks to Lauren for this question.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always wanted to write stories, and wrote lots when I was you girls’ age, filling diaries I’d bought with made-up character’s lives – very like with Totally Lucy! My dad was very encouraging and had some poems I’d written made into a book for me, and I sold copies to my family and friends (NOTE: I made them pay for them, hee hee!!!) xx
Thanks to Arabella for this question.