What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
SuperBaby started with a bedtime story I made up for one of my grandchildren. I included a short version of it in Wicked Tales Four, but decided that wasn't enough: the character is so funny and so cute that I had to give him his own book.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don't think I do… except that I'll go long periods without writing anything and then write enormous amounts when I feel like it.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Soooo many! Such as the Narnia books, Charlotte's Web, Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit, the Hardy Boys series, the Just William books, anything by Joan Aiken or AA Milne, Lewis Carroll, Raymond Chandler, James Thurber, Joseph Conrad, RL Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Konstantin Paustovsky, Maxim Gorky & a host of other Russian authors. Anything with E H Sheppard's drawings in it. That's just what popped into my mind. The full list would be very long.
What are you working on now?
Jason and the Mouse. He rescues an unusual mouse who claims to have come from another world (accessed through the back wall of the local cinema). The mouse would like some help to recover some lost treasure...
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Enjoy your own work. Keep writing what you would like to read. Keep writing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Raymond Chandler: "I am having a hard time with the book. Have enough paper written to make it complete, but must do all over again. I just didn't know where I was going and when I got there I saw that I had come to the wrong place. That's the hell of being the kind of writer who cannot plan anything, but has to make it up as he goes along and then try to make sense out of it."
What are you reading now?
"The passionate eye". It's about Van Gogh, with plenty of pictures among the text.
What's next for you as a writer?
I work on several books at once, so there are plenty of them to be getting on with. Also, I want to move into online school visits and am preparing videos for that.