Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?
A: An archaeologist
Q: What are you afraid of?
A: Being bored
Q: What’s your favourite colour?
A: Rose pink
Q: What is your favourite possession?
A: My grandmother’s ring
Q: How long have you been a writer?
A: Of books- 5 years. Of TV documentary scripts – 25 years
Q: Do you write by hand or on the computer?
Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with?
A: Tala Bean in Quicksilver
Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?
A: Scraps of research I have done for television documentaries
Q: What sort of books do you write?
A: Fantasy adventure set in the real world
Q: Which writers/illustrators would you have on your dream team and why?
A:Charlie Higson – great stories
Richmal Crompton – brilliant wit
Phillip Pulman – extraordinary imagination
Q: I loved writing this bit....
A: A folk rhyme engraved above an old healing well in my new book Serpent’s Gold:
The itch, the snitch, rheumatic and the gout,
If the devil puts them in you, let these waters take them out.
If the Devil does his dancing on the roads that lead to life,
Take a needle from these waters to relieve the world of strife.
If the devil’s doorway opens and his demons join the dance,
Then seek across the oceans for a spur and spear and lance,
For the devil he is clever and the devil he is sly,
And the roads grow sorely restless when the devil passes by.
But you’ll not hurt him with your weapons till your will’s a whetted spear,
For the will’s the only weapon that the devil’s dancers fear.