Malorie Blackman, the author of the fantastic Noughts and Crosses series (Noughts and Crosses, An Eye for an Eye, Knife Edge, Checkmate and Double Cross), kindly agreed to answer some of our questions.
Here are her responses:
What were some of your favourite books when you were a child?
I loved the Narnia stories (all except The Last Battle which was the final one in the series), myths and legends from around the world, fairy stories and adventure stories. I also loved sci-fi stories.
Which of your books was the most difficult to write? Why?
Noughts and Crosses because it was a very personal and painful book to write, as a number of the events the main character (Callum) has to live through are based on real events that happened.
How do you write your books? Do you plot and plan in detail, or do you develop an idea as you are writing?
I plan them out first and work hard on developing my characters but I don’t plan them in too much detail as I like my characters to surprise me by doing the unexpected as I write.
Where do you write your books?
In my attic.
Why do you enjoy writing for children?
Because they are a very discerning audience, who don’t just like something because they are told to but who make up their own minds.
What advice would you give to young writers to help them to improve their stories?
Write from the heart; write what you care about; write your own style and in your own voice (don’t copy someone else’s style but make it your own). And most importantly, don’t give up!