Why did Hilaire Belloc's ‘Cautionary Verses’ inspire you to write ‘Happily Never After: Modern Cautionary Tales’?
I loved them as a child and wondered why no one else had thought to update them
Do you have a favourite Modern Cautionary Tale from the book? Why is it your favourite?
I think it’s Cally who couldn’t stop using the word like. I think it’s the best structured.
How does writing poetry compare to writing non-fiction?
10 times harder!
There is great rhythm and pace to the verses in ‘Happily Never After: Modern Cautionary Tales’ – what is your secret to creating a good rhyme?
Thanks for that. If there is a secret to it (and I think it’s more of a knack) then it’s to surprise the reader on the second half of the rhyme
Do you have any plans to write more poetry in the future?
Not unless someone pays me a LOT of money!
You’ve written lots of factual books for children, what is the greatest fact you know?
There are more insects in one square mile of rural land than there are human beings on the entire Earth. I also like that the mongoose was introduced into Hawaii to kill rats. This plan failed because rats are nocturnal while the mongoose hunts during the day.
What is your top writing tip for budding writers / poets?
Keep writing. It’s reckoned that anyone who wants to succeed at something has to put in something like 10,000 hours of practice/experience (but not all in one go!).
Do you have any literary projects in the pipeline you can share with us?
I’ve got a new book that’s just come out: it’s called “Why don’t you smell while you are sleeping?”
Where can fans find out more about you and your work?