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Denis Bond

How many books have you had published?
I've had 67 books published with one more due for publication at Christmas
2000. I also have three more being considered by various publishers.

Did you write for fun when you were at school?
I loved writing when I was at school: short stories, plays and poems. I also
edited the school newspaper.

Have you always earned your living as a writer? If not, what else have you done/do you still do?
I was a teacher for many years, both primary and secondary. I'm now an actor as well as a writer. Writing, acting and visiting schools all over the world is now the way in which I earn my living.

When was your first book published and what was it called?
My first book, which was, in fact, the first in a series of 16 books, was published in 1983. The series was called DAGON and the first book was entitled DAGON COMES DOWN TO EARTH.

Was it difficult to get your first book published?
It took me thirteen years to get the first book published. In the meantime I wrote children's programmes for television: PIPKINS, RAINBOW, THE MUNCH BUNCH and LET'S PRETEND.

Which is your favourite of your own books and why?
My favourite book is No1 which I wrote for the 11+ age group. It's a huge book and I had to do a lot of research for it, which I found extremely interesting.

Which is your favourite children's book written by someone else?
There are so many wonderful children's books, so it's hard to answer this question. However, I think SKELLIG by David Almond is the one I could read over and over again.

How long does it take you to write a book?
This depends on the size of the book of course. Most books take me about three months to write. Picture books may only take a few weeks. No 1, however took nearly two years to write!

Do you use a computer or write first drafts long hand?
I used to write my first drafts in long hand as I liked to write on trains when travelling to visit schools. Nowadays, with the constant ringing of mobile phones, it's difficult to concentrate, so I only write at home on the computer.

Do you have a writing routine or do you just write when you feel like it?
I do have a writing routine. When I'm not visiting schools I work from nine to five with a short break for lunch. If I have a deadline to meet, I may also work in the evenings.

Rewriting - do you love it or hate it?
I hate rewriting. Do any writers enjoy it? I don't know.

Have you ever belonged to a writers' group? If so, did it help?
I've never belonged to a writers' group.

Do you have an agent?
I do have an agent. Nowadays it's almost impossible to sell a book to a publisher unless it's via an agent.

Why do you like writing for children?
I like writing for children because its much harder than writing for adults. Children are far more critical.

How do you get your ideas?
I constantly talk with children and they tell me what they'd like to read about.

Do you draw the pictures for your books? If so, which comes first - the words or the pictures.
I don't do my own illustrations. The story comes first and then my illustrators draw the pictures.

What advice would you offer anyone who wants to write for children?
Talk with children. Not to them or at them, but with them.

Are you willing to do author visits to schools?
I will visit schools in any part of the country or indeed in any part of the world. I cover ALL age groups, infants, juniors, the whole primary range, or secondary schools. I can be contacted on denis.bond@virgin.net. My web page will you tell you more about my school visits and this can be reached at www.denisbond.co.uk

For a list of Denis Bond's books in print  click here

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