John Dougherty

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?


My latest book is Mark & Shark: Detectiving & Stuff. It's the story of a boy called Mark and his best friend Shark, who is a shark, and how they get mixed up in an ice cream war between a polar bear and a penguin. It was initially inspired by something my son said when we were on holiday...


Do you have any unusual writing habits?


I don't think so - but what counts as unusual?!? There are so many different ways to write, you could argue that almost every writing habit is normal!


What authors, or books have influenced you?


As well as the second Mark & Shark story, I'm working on a couple of reading books for schools, and trying to decide which of about half a dozen other ideas to focus on next!


What are you working on now?


As well as the second Mark & Shark story, I'm working on a couple of reading books for schools, and trying to decide which of about half a dozen other ideas to focus on next!

Do you have any advice for new authors?


If you really believe in a story you've written, don't give up on it. My first picture book took 21 years to see publication.


What is the best advice you have ever heard?


Do not operate heavy machinery after taking medicine that makes you sleepy.


Oh, you mean about writing? I'm not entirely sure which is *best* - I've heard a lot of useful advice - but I think perhaps ""Don't be too hard on yourself"" is important.


What are you reading now?


Dead Lions by Mick Herron. It's a book for grown-ups, the second in a series about a group of disgraced spies. They're only supposed to do boring office work, but somehow, by accident, they end up involved in some proper spying.


What's next for you as a writer?


Lots more writing! And visiting schools, and appearing at book festivals.  



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