PLACE AND DATE OF BIRTH:Wembley, London; 24 December 1945
FAVOURITE BOOKProbably The Secret Garden
MOST TREASURED POSSESSION:My piano
FAVOURITE SONG:‘Singin’ in the Rain’
FAVOURITE FILMDead Poet’s Society
When did you start writing?I started writing the beginnings of books when I was six or seven, but I didn’t get to the end of one until I was twenty-eight. It took me that long to learn not to tear up the first chapter just because it sounded silly.
Where do you get your ideas?I don’t know where the first little wisps of an idea come from. But I work on them by asking lots of questions: why? how? who? what next? Then I write the book to find out what the idea is really about.
Can you give your top three tips to becoming a successful author?1. Write what you want to write and not what you think other people will like.2. Rewrite, and go on rewriting, until you’ve done it as well as you can.3. Have fun! (Or no one else will.)
Favourite memory?Getting married in the rain.
Favourite place in the world and why?Castlerigg stone circle in the Lake District, because it’s a magical place.
What are your hobbies?Orienteering and playing the piano.
If you hadn’t been a writer, what do you think you would have been?I’ve never been able to think of anything else I really wanted to do.
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