Cressida Cowell, author of the How to Train Your Dragon books, answered some questions for The Book Base.
Here are her responses:
What were some of your favourite books when you were a child?
I loved so many different kinds of books: fantasy: Diana Wynne Jones, particularly The Orge Downstairs, Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain books, Violet Needham, but also more domestic things like Noel Streatfield.
Which of your books was the most difficult to write? Why?
How to Steal a Dragon’s Sword because the further you get along in a series, the more ends you have to tie up, and my books are very short so there’s a lot of story to fit in a small space!
How do you write your books? Do you plot and plan in detail, or do you you develop an idea as you are writing?
I plot and re-plot, and then when I start writing ideas start taking me in a different direction, so I go back and re-plot again. I re-write each book at least ten times.
Where do you write your books?
In a shed at the bottom of the garden.
Why do you enjoy writing for children?
I love writing for children because you can address the really meaningful things in life – that’s what children are interested in, the essentials.
What advice would you give to young writers to help them to improve their stories?
I would advise them to READ a lot, as widely as they can. Reading widely teaches you different ways to tell a story.
Find out more about Cressida Cowell by visiting her website.