How many books have you had published?
Five more for publication over next two years
Did you write for fun when you were at school?
I loved writing essays and general non-fiction but I admit to being rather useless at stories. A teacher once read out one of my stories and said, with heavy sarcasm, 'Well, that was interesting with a capital I.' I always tell the kids that when I do school visits.
Have you always earned your living as a writer? If not, what else have you done/do you still do?
I trained as a nurse and am now a chiropodist three days a week. In between I did many jobs from selling shoes to making safety razors in a converted chicken hut!
When was your first book published and what was it called?
Avalanche published by Hamish Hamilton in 1986
Was it difficult to get your first book published?
No. I targeted the market and I suppose it was just what they wanted at the time.
Which is your favourite of your own books and why?
Probably The Breath of Demons because I loved the research and writing of London at the time of the plague.
Which is your favourite children's book written by someone else?
I don't have a favourite. Or, at least it changes all the time.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Weeks, months, it depends on the length and the time have to write.
Do you use a computer or write first drafts long hand?
I make rough notes and plans on paper but write directly onto the computer.
Do you have a writing routine or do you just write when you feel
On my writing days (Thursday and Friday) I write all day plus any other spare time during the week.
Rewriting - do you love it or hate it?
I tend to rewrite as I go along and don't mind it at all. The final rewriting of the whole book is satisfying, like polishing something or putting on the final coat of paint.
Have you ever belonged to a writers' group? If so, did it help?
Yes, I've belonged to several and gained a lot from them, both from the tutors and from the other members.
Do you have an agent?
I had one for 8 years but haven't one now. I keep wondering whether ought to have one but at the moment am getting on fine by myself.
Why do you like writing for children?
I love the fun. It takes me back to the thrill of reading when I was a child.
How do you get your ideas?
Fresh new ideas are not easy to come by but I'm always on the lookout. What I read, hear, see, they're all around really, you just have to be able to recognise them.
Do you draw the pictures for your books?
What advice would you offer anyone who wants to write for children?
Write as if you're a child reading the book.
Are you willing to do author visits to schools?Yes. Bucks, Beds,
Oxon, W.Herts, Anywhere within reach for the day. On occasions I would
do one further afield.
Primary School only. Email me at TudorOak@aol.com for a leaflet which gives information about my presentations, fees, etc.
For a list of Stephanie's books in print visit her website www.stephaniebaudet.co.uk