What did you want to be when you were a child?
Writer –illustrator – actor. Sadly discovered I couldn’t draw and can’t remember lines – kind of essential for actors. Writing was what I enjoyed at school so it stuck.
What are you afraid of?
Same as most people – spiders, estate agents. I'm not afraid of flying but crashing on the other hand…
What is your favourite colour?
This varies with my mood – and I colour clash all the time. Suspect it might be red however
How long have you been a writer?
Wrote my first stories at six and were it not for school doing its very best to crush it out me would have happily just written from then on and skipped out on all else. (Except reading of course, which I did avidly. You can’t be a writer if you don’t read.) I was encouraged by an excellent teacher Rev Emlyn Williams and another, Reverend Taylor who was obessessed by the Romans and formed a school legion!
Do you write by hand or on a computer?
I always write everything by hand first then input. It’s slow but it means the computer version is already a second draft. (I like to write in cafes so people are less likely to steal your handwritten scribbles when you go to the loo!)
Which characters do you most identify with?
The ones I am writing with at the time. I love Genie Magee, she’s tough and uncomplaining and based on a young friend of mine who is the toughest but nicest most generous girl in the whole world.
Where do your ideas come from?
Music, places, anything. I'm listening to The Boxsettes right now. I listen to classical music a lot, but in the car blast out The Pierces (Kissing You Goodbye is my favourite) or Eliza Doolittle or some movie soundtracks like Inception or Hans Zimmer's Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows - which work really well for fast driving in cars. Oops did I say fast driving. Er I always observe the speed limit officer...
What sort of books do you write?
Dystopian I guess but then again, they are always filled with hope, even the bleakest moments. Life can be hard but there are solutions and resolutions. I am writing something set in America in 2060 at the moment. You wouldn't want to be there.
We all want to write the next big thing, follow in the footsteps of Bond clone Alex Rider perhaps, or find a captivating heroine such as Bella, who has two men fighting for her love, a vampire and werewolf, common enough in these parts I’m sure. Finding that original stance and engaging with a young teen readership is a tough task.
Wizards may have had their day - although Mr Potter will be much lamented judging by the box office of his last outing. Vampires (with any luck will have theirs) – readers move on – en masse and you will often be surprised by what they move on to. But how to do that? How do you know what kids will find interesting three to five years from now, the average time it takes to write a book and sell it.
GENIE HAS JUST 36 HOURS TO FIND RIAN OR HE DIES