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Andrew Collett

1. How many books have you had published?
The Magic Christmas Tree
Always Eat your Bogies
Dad's Exploding Underpants
Electric Knickers
Bottling Burps for Grandma
Who Flushed Granny Down the Toilet?

Did you write for fun when you were at school?
No, unfortunately, there wasn't ever much fun involved in the kind of writing we had to do back in 1968!

Have you always earned your living as a writer? If not, what else have you done/do you still do? I teach.
I taught for ten years before giving this up some six years ago. I still work in schools as a performance poet ….. I've visited around 500 in the last six years

When was your first book published and what was it called?
My first and most famous book is called, Always Eat your Bogies. It's a horrible title, but was designed to persuade reluctant readers to pick up a poetry collection. Alas, it's been hijacked by grannies and nice young girls too! (Obviously girls are just as horrible as boys)

Was it difficult to get your first book published?
Yes, it took seven years for anyone to take my work seriously. My poetry has now sold over 100,000 copies in bookshops around the UK.

Which is your favourite of your own books and why?
I think it would probably have to be my first. The success of this book gave me the inspiration to start writing full-time.

Which is your favourite children's book written by someone else?
I love the horrible history series ….. lots of gory information and facts about all the things in history we really want to know about!

How long does it take you to write a book?
I will take six months to write a book, then about another six to trial these around schools.

Do you use a computer or write first drafts long hand?
I use both a computer and my very blunt pencil. If I had my way, I'd do it all on the computer ….. but very bad for your eyes!!! Also, I'm more likely to be distracted on the computer and start to surf your wonderful Word Pool web site instead of writing!

Do you have a writing routine or do you just write when you feel like it?
I would love not to have a writing routine. Unfortunately, I would never pick up a pencil if I didn't discipline myself to the four hours I do a day. I'm always thinking about ideas, but I think that four hours' work a day is enough for anyone!

Rewriting - do you love it or hate it?
Both! Rewriting is both frustrating and rewarding ….. both never easy. I usually rewrite some ten to fifteen times.

Have you ever belonged to a writers' group? If so, did it help?
No ….. but perhaps I should!!

Do you have an agent?
No …. although I've always wanted to be a secret agent?

Why do you like writing for children?
The reason for this is probably something to do with the fact that the things that children find funny are those that make me laugh too. Basically, I've never grown-up …… but there's still time. I'm only 104.

How do you get your ideas?
Ideas usually come when you're least expecting them. As most of my material has been humorous, I usually aim to exaggerate any idea or character …. I aim to make them larger than life.

Do you draw the pictures for your books? If so, which comes first - the words or the pictures.
I wish I could draw. Unfortunately my pictures look like stick men who have been run over - twice!

What advice would you offer anyone who wants to write for children?
Work with children ….. immerse yourself in their language …. visits 100's of schools and trial all of your material. Once you've done this and are sure of your idea, pester, pester and keep on pestering those nice young editor folk.

Are you willing to do author visits to schools?
I have worked in all areas of the country. I have performed in front of as many as 1200 children and teachers …. See me web site for full details: or email me:

For a list of Andrew's books in print, visit his website

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