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Bobbie Neate

How many books have you had published?
23 for children and one for adults.

Did you write for fun when you were at school?
I hated writing at school - at least I hated writing what the teachers wanted me to do. I liked doing research but I never wanted to show it to anybody.

Have you always earned your living as a writer? If not, what else have you done/do you still do?

I have never just lived off my writing - I have been a primary school teacher and a university lecturer, I have worked publishers but now I am writing and publishing my own books.

When was your first book published and what was it called?
My first book for children was called Nappies - I always knew that young children were interested in babies and the things they need. The success of this title proves that children are interested in nappies!.

Was it difficult to get your first book published?
Not really - I was asked to do it - but I found it very hard to get right. I was always writing too much.

Which is your favourite of your own books and why?
I like Comparing Giraffes and Polar Bears the best - I did this book myself - I designed it, wrote it, chose the photographs and had it printed. I still like to read it!

Which is your favourite children's book written by someone else?

Teeth: a Dentist's View by Ian Park. I think the photographs are very eye catching and I find it fascinating to know about all the instruments in a dentist's surgery.

How long does it take you to write a book?
About six months. Sometimes I can do it quicker but then it's never so good.

Do you use a computer or write first drafts long hand?

I can't write anything without a computer - I am totally lost without a keyboard.

Do you have a writing routine or just write when you feel like it?
          
I write when I have time - usually very late at night. I start about nine and often don't finish till after one o'clock in the morning.

Rewriting - do you love it or hate it?

I enjoy it but I never realise how many mistakes I have made. I am always surprised how much I have to change it.

Have you ever belonged to a writers' group? If so, did it help?

No.

Have you got an agent?
No.

Why do you like writing for children?

I like to make difficult ideas easy for children. I like to get inside children's heads. Many non fiction authors can't do it.

How do you get your ideas?
They just come - I'm not sure how. Often I'm talking to someone about what I will do and the new idea just forms.

Do you draw the pictures for your books?
I often think of the design as I write and plan.

What advice would you offer anyone who wants to write for children?
Patience! Try to into the heads of children and remember they don't have the same experiences as adults.

Are you willing to do author visits to schools?
I love going to schools - I think children should see and hear non fiction authors. I do all all age groups in all parts of the country you can contact me at bobbie@neatepublishing.co.uk

Have you won any awards or prizes?
Yes, the UKRA Book Award 1987

For Bobbie Neat's publishing web site click here

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