Q and A ... Mo O'Hara

Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?

A: I really wanted to be a marine biologist when I was a child but then I found out I get sea-sick in a bathtub so that put an end to that.The next job on my list was Actor and after that Writer. So, I guess I’m pretty lucky that I got to be two out of three of my childhood dreams.


Q: What are you afraid of?

A:  Fear.  Oh yeah and also those little roach type bugs that get put in Chekov’s ear in Star Trek. (shudders)


Q: What’s your favourite colour?

A: Red, most of the time.


Q: What is your favourite possession?

A:  Oooh, tricky.I have a bouquet of tissue paper and pipe cleaner flowers that my son made for me when he was in nursery and a painting that my daughter did of me with pigtails. Both of those are pretty special to me.  


Q: How long have you been a writer?

A: I’ve been admitting to being a writer for about five years now but before that I said, “I do blah, blah, blah and I also kind of , sometimes write mumble, mumble ,mumble...”


Q: Do you write by hand or on the computer?

A: I write down ideas and bits of dialogue by hand in notebooks and then when I’m ready to properly write I go to the computer, stare at the blank screen and usually cry.  


Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with?

A: I think probably Tom because I’m inside his head when I’m writing the Zombie Goldfish books.  He is a lot like me, my brother and my son all rolled into one.


Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

A:  Nowhere in particular - things I hear people say or that I see.I get ideas from other books and from movies and TV.Getting ideas isn’t really a problem,  it’s knowing what to do with the idea once you’ve got it.


Q: What sort of books do you write?

A:  At the moment I write funny books for 7 + but I have ideas for middle grade books and for picture books as well so watch this space.


Q: Which writers/illustrators would you have on your dream team and why?

A:  Ok, I’m American so when I hear ‘Dream Team’ I think basketball.  So, my dream team would be like the Harlem Globetrotters of Kid’s Books. (Highly skilled but darn funny with it).  I’d want Andy Stanton and David Tazzyman, Oooh and  Steve Hartley and Kate Pankhurst as well.  Then I’d round it off with Liz Pichon and Philip Ardagh.  Oh wait, do they still have to be alive because if not then I’d have Roald Dahl too. That would be an amazing team.


Q: I loved writing this bit....

A:  From Chapter 5 of ‘Rules The School’ In My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish.


“Top five embarrassing things that can happen to a kid in primary school


5. The nit nurse finds something in your hair but can’t tell exactly what it is , so says ,out loud to the rest of the class, ‘I’m going to have to take a picture of this one and look it up.’ ( Me – Year 3)


4. Your mum mixes up your swim kit with your little sister’s so you have the choice to go out to the pool stark naked or wearing a three year old’s Dora The Explorer bikini bottoms. (Pradeep- last term)


3. You admit, in front of the other boys in your class, that you think the best Star Wars movie was the one with the cure furry little Ewok creatures. (This kid called Ben just before half term. He never came back to school.)


2. Your pet zombie goldfish gets loose in the school. ( Me – today)


1. Your mum calls you ‘Precious’, ‘Lovely’ or ‘Honey’ in a loud voice in the school hallway just as everyone is coming out of assembly. (Pradeep - also today) “


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