Just finished up a load of events for the Children’s Book Festival 2013, many of which included Q&A sessions. Some of the more unusual or oooh-haven’t-heard-that-one-before ones for you, with answers:
Do you like One Direction?
I wouldn’t say ‘like’ and I certainly wouldn’t say ‘obsessively fangirl over’ (mind you, am fangirlish over about twenty bajillion other things) but I do have a couple of their songs on one of my writing playlists.
What is your favourite kind of cheese?
Brie. (Nom nom nom.)
Did your parents encourage you to be a writer or would they prefer you were a doctor or an engineer?
Now this was a very interesting one, especially coming from primary school girls… we talked a bit about this but it came down to the idea that if you’re doing anything creative or a bit outside-the-box I think you need to argue for yourself a little bit more, a lot of the time, because it’s a less traditional path and doesn’t quite come with as many obvious instructions (e.g. follow this officially-approved pattern for training) as certain careers. You need to do a bit more explaining to people about what you’re going to do and what other people in that field have done.
(For the record, my parental units are both very into having work that you love, and supportive, but they are also sensible humans and know that often the trade-off for creative work is the instability and uncertainty that goes with any freelancing gig.)
Who’s the funniest writer you’ve ever met?
Philip Ardagh. He was at the CBI Conference a couple of years back and he was just properly hilarious both when in panel-mode and just for chatting. Also – it is obligatory to mention this – he is the owner of a most magnificent beard.
What’s your favourite movie-based-on-a-book?
For grown-ups it is probably Wonder Boys, and I adore both the movie and book, and for young people it’s The Hunger Games, because I like the way it takes a lot of the key things from the book – but doesn’t try to do everything – and also gives us something extra.
Who’s your favourite Babysitters Club character?
(Had a serious bonding moment over BSC appreciation with one group. It was fabulous.) Mary Anne, but also adore Claudia.
Would you ever write a book about a dog and a cat playing chess?
We will see.