What book are you reading just now? (Amy)
I’m reading Spider by Linda Strachan – very exciting!
How did you start writing your book? (Sara)
I usually use a pencil and notepad for first notes and just scribble words and phrases that come into my head.
Where did you get your initial ideas? (Sarah, Sophie, Ainsley)
Ideas come from young people, newspapers, television, and lots of other places. For The Nostradamus Prophecy the idea came just after The Medici Seal was published when I’d found out a bit about one of the Medici family – Catherine of Medici. She became a very powerful Queen of France and had the reputation of poisoning those who got in her way. I thought she’d be very interesting to write about.
Are the main characters based on people you have met? (Lauryn)
I never totally base a character on a real person. I use bits here and there. But with historical fiction I think there’s an obligation to find out as much as you can about the person who lived long ago and then be as true as possible to that person’s thoughts and feelings.
Have you ever had writer’s block? (Jemma)
I’ve never been totally blocked, but I do get stuck all the time – usually beginning about chapter 8. Then I go for long walks and take some time off and let the imaginative side of my brain catch up.
What comes first – characters or plot? (Hayleigh)
Sometimes it’s one and sometimes the other. With The Nostradamus Prophecy it was definitely characters. I wanted to write about this infamous Queen of France and then I found out that she consulted this self-styled prophet called Nostradamus, so I knew that I would be able to find a story there.
Will you write a sequel? (Daniel)
The book that I’m just finishing is not a sequel exactly but it is set round about the same time. It’s called The Prisoner of the Inquisition. It’s due out next April and is set in Spain during the time of the Inquisition, but also when Christopher Columbus was trying to get financial backing for his great plan to sail across the Atlantic.
Do you have other books to write in mind? (Amy)
Yes indeed! Lots and lots.
There’s not enough time in the day for me to write down all the stories I have in my head.
Did you ever think you would become a writer? (Katie & Rebecca)
No I didn’t ever think I’d be a writer. I thought you had to be very rich to become a writer.
What inspired you to write books? (Brogan, Amanda, Staci, Bronwen, Abbie)
I was working on a mobile library when something happened in one of the villages we visited. I wrote a book about that and it won a prize and was published.
Who are your role models? (Caileigh)
I think the biggest influence in my writing was my English teacher and also reading Dickens. I know Charles Dickens might be thought a bit old-fashioned nowadays but to me he is the Master Storyteller.
What came first – the chicken or the egg? (Joe)
Dunno – not quite sure what you’re asking Joe. Am I being exceptionally slow?
Did you always want to be a writer? (Kirsten)
I didn’t ever think of being a writer. I never thought it was something I could make a living from
Do you prefer writing for young adults? (Amanda & Adriana)
I love writing for all age groups, but yes, young adult writing is particularly rewarding.
What made you write about Nostradamus? (Drew)
I think Nostradamus is the most incredibly interesting character, and perhaps, just perhaps, he possessed unique telepathic powers far in advance of his time and ours. Some of his prophecies appear to have come true…. Mysterious…very mysterious…