What are you most looking forward to at the 2016 Festival?
Discovering Dubai, meeting new readers and the chance to hang out with some amazing writers.
When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?
As a child I was the Incredible Book Eating Boy before Oliver Jeffers had even drawn him and the books I read inspired me to write my own stories too. When I was seven years old my teacher read out a story I’d written to the rest of the class; a tale of pirates who lived inside a grandfather clock and came out at midnight to have adventures. That was the moment I started calling myself a writer!
What book do you find yourself re-reading most often?
I’d love to give you the title of one of my favourite novels such as The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper orThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, but recently it’s probably been The Quantum Universeby Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw as I’ve pondered questions of quantum physics whilst wrestling with the edit of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
My ‘career’ has been an endless search for a job where I have the excuse to read books all day, so maybe a sales assistant in a really remote and inaccessible bookshop.
And finally, we have a number of aspiring writers attending the Festival. What one piece of advice would you give them?
Write down any spark of inspiration that strikes you. This might be an idea for a character, a setting or just a question that intrigues you. Very few stories arrive fully formed and by finding the connections between these sparks of inspiration you can start to create your story. Oh, and maybe take a look inside How to Write Your Best Story Ever too!