Q. Which other EAFOL 2016 participant are you most excited about?
Is it cheating to say all of them? If so, I’m particularly excited about meeting my fellow panellists on the ‘Scintillating Science’ panel we’re doing as part of the Kids’ Programme – Nick Arnold, Nicola Davies and Christopher Edge. And if you’re going to go all Hunger Games on me and make me pick one, Mr Edge might have the edge (see what I did there) because he recently tweeted that he loves to chat about quantum physics and parallel universes in kid lit. Irresistible!
Q. Which book(s) are you reading now?
I always have a few on the go so I can pick up the one that suits my mood. At the moment I’m reading the remarkable A Death in the Family – the first book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle series, which is one of those books that changes the way you look at the world. I’m also in the middle of Curtis Jobling’s Haunt: Dead Wrong, which I picked up from Simon & Schuster because the Charlie Higson quote on the front made me grin – ‘Dead good, dead funny, dead central character’. And my Kindle read is the fourth book in Iain Martin’s ebook series, Winterhill: Rise of the Fall, which I’m reading because he’s nice, I like sci-fi, and his books make me laugh.
Q. Which literary character would you invite to dinner? And why?
Someone who can cook, because I can’t. Hmmm. Hannibal Lecter is the only foodie literary character I can think of. I suppose he’d be interesting company. But we might need to set some ground rules first. I don’t want to be served brains and I’d rather not be dessert.
Q. There have been some interesting additions to the dictionary over the years. Which word would you remove?
I’d obliterate the phrase ‘collateral damage’, which seems to have been invented by monsters in a sneaky attempt to excuse the inexcusable.
Q. Who would write/ illustrate the story of your life?
I’d clearly have to write it, so I can make my life sound far more fabulous and swashbuckling than it really is. I think I’d ask The Boy Fitz Hammond to illustrate it as I loved his illustrations for The Case of the Exploding Loo and The Case of the Exploding Brains. He’s got a quirky sense of humour and the story of my life would definitely be a comedy.