Q and A

 

Beatrice

1. What is your earliest memory?
I remember quite being swept over by a wave at a beach in Italy when I was about 4. I opened my eyes under water and saw the underside of the sea all blue and green and full of tiny bubbles. And then I remember wondering why nobody had noticed what had happened, why I hadn’t been rescued and wondering if I was going to drown. Then I sat up and realized that the water was only up to my waist.

2. What gives you inspiration?
What ifs, give me inspiration, like what if I was a pirate. What kind of life would I have? And then I go and find out and am usually amazed. Writing about things that amaze you is always inspiring. I am very curious about a lot of things and that’s probably why I write – to find out things.

3. What is a typical working day?
Once the kids are at school I make a cup of tea and try and write at least 500 words on each of the books I’m writing. I also have to deal with lots of other boring stuff which I try to do as fast as possible so I can get back to writing. With My Invisible Sister I went to Sara’s house and we wrote together. This was so much fun that it didn’t feel like work at all. Plus, I made her do all the typing.

4. What was your favorite children's book and why?
I loved the Dr Seuss Books because they were so crazy and I loved the colourful artwork. As a birthday present, one of the books was sent to me in the post once a month and I’ll never forget how it felt to pull it from its cardboard wrapper. I treasured them. When I was older, I adored The Little House on the Prairie Books, anything by Joan Aitken and Harriet the Spy.

5. If you weren't a writer what would you have liked to be?
Something which involves the outdoors as I spend too much time in front of my computer screen. If I lived in the past I’d like to have been a cartographer – someone who makes maps - or possibly an explorer. If I could choose another career for the present I’d love to be a documentary filmmaker.

6. Do you have any advice for kids who want to be writers or artists?
Make yourself laugh, cry and be desperate to find out what happens next. I often don’t know what’s going to happen in my stories until I write it. If you like your work, someone else will too.

7. If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be?
I don’t like keeping things in cages but if I could have a free-range pet, I’d like something wild and stately and beautiful like a stag.

8. If you were invisible, what would be the most fun you could have?
If I was invisible, I’d sneak into film premieres or art galleries when they were closed to the public. I also wouldn’t mind trying on some expensive clothes but they might look a bit weird without a body or a head.

   

Sara

1. What is your earliest memory?
Being given my baby sister to hold on the day she was born. I remember the chair I was sitting in: a little wicker number with red painted wood. I remember feeling that I must be very grown up if I was allowed to hold such a tiny, beautiful thing.

2. What gives you inspiration?
People making art, in spite of everything.

3. What is a typical working day?
Once I get the pack lunches made and the boys out of the house (this includes my husband!), I make the beds (something I have to do before I can work....don't know why), I sit down at my desk and pick up where I left off on what ever project I happen to be working on. I tend to get up a lot and do other things, like eat snacks, do laundry, email my friends or try on my favorite shoes. I tried to stop doing this once, in the hopes that I would be even more productive, but in the end I think it actually helps my brain to stay in it's most playful . Who knows!

4. What was your favorite children’s book and why?
Fantastic Mister Fox by Roald Dahl. I asked to be read it over and over again. I loved the fancy language and wanted to be just like Mr. Fox: funny, brave, confident and loving.

5. If you weren’t a writer what would you have liked to be?
A wallpaper designer.

6. Do you have any advice for kids who want to be writers or artists?
Never give up and remember that the way you see the world is absolutely unique and sharing it with others makes the world a great place.

7. If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be?
I'd like a lion.

8. If you were invisible, what would be the most fun you could have?
I'd love to roam around museums when they were closed and sleep in the famous beds, you know, the ones that are roped off. I also wouldn't mind sneaking around kitchens of very famous restaurants.