Your questions answered…
Why did you want to become a writer?
To be rich and famous, although that hasn’t happened yet! Oh all right then: – because through books and plays, we can share ideas with lots of people all over the world, make them laugh, and hopefully – sometimes give them some new ideas to think about (or some new ways to think about old ideas).
Where do you get your ideas from?
Life. Stuff that happens. Take a look at our book pages, on some of them we tell you where the initial idea came from.
We don’t pinch ideas (unless we’re taking the mickey out of someone else’s work, as we did in Star Bores). Getting ideas is easy. It’s making them work that’s difficult.
Is it easy to get published?
Only, apparently, if you’re famous for doing something else besides writing books. The main thing is to have faith in your work, and never give up. We were lucky that we had an idea that the publishers liked straight away.
How many books have you written?
Tricky to say – if you count books the books we’ve had published in English, with just our names on the cover, it’s over 230. If you count books with our names on or in somewhere, it’s over 350!
What’s the best book you’ve ever written?
Again, that is hard to say – it is a bit like asking a parent, ‘who is your favourite child?’. We like all our books for different reasons.
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
Probably when I was in a play, and I threw my walking stick down, and it bounced into the audience and knocked the Lady Mayoress of Crewe out cold!
I’m not telling you – it’s too embarrassing! Oh, OK, it was when I was at Girl Guide Camp and… actually, I’m not going to tell you, it IS too embarrassing!
What’s the strangest job you’ve ever had?
I’ve had lots – strawberry picker, laundry van driver, postman, dustbin man and they were all pretty strange, but being an author must be the strangest of the lot. I could write a book.
Counting pastry pie lids… 1,2,3,4… etc etc. I did this for a whole summer, working from 10pm until 8am every day, except Sunday! I’ve never eaten that make of pie since having that job.
What makes you laugh?
Politicians pretending they’re telling the truth. Road Runner cartoons. I guess I have quite a cruel sense of humour. I like it when cute furry things get squished, but only if they deserve it. (Of course, everything cute deserves to get squished anyway!)
Air being forced up through my mouth! The things that are likely to do that are clever comedians, The Far Side cartoons, Laurel and Hardy films and people trying to be serious and getting uptight about things that don’t really matter!
What sort of music do you like?
Most sorts, but especially classical and early music. As far as rock music goes, I’m stuck in a 1970s time warp and happy to be there.
All kinds of stuff, from classical to hip hop, via indie, electronica and early music. I’m not a fan of commercial pop music, which I think is the worst thing to happen to music since the beginning of time! I love quirky music and love finding new bands to listen to.
What were you like at school?
Everyone else was rebelling by growing their hair and wearing flares, so I rebelled against the rebellion by cutting my hair and wearing a tie. Yeah, you’re right – a bit of a prat to be honest!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
An airline pilot, but I was scared of heights!
What is your star sign?
Who is your favourite writer?
T H White.
AA Milne (and William Goldman and William Shakespeare and Arthur Conan Doyle and Alan Bennet and Terry Pratchett – I’ve got lots! It depends what mood I’m in!).
If you have any further questions, please use the contact button and drop us an email – we will try and answer them as soon as we can!