The Perse School

Prep Library Club interviews authors Caroline Lawrence and Sam Gayton

16 Jun 2014

The Prep’s Library Club was thrilled to have the opportunity to interview Caroline Lawrence and Samuel Gayton at the inaugural Perse Prep Reading Festival at the beginning of June. We hope you enjoy reading the authors’ responses to the pupils’ probing questions!

2Caroline Lawrence

What were your main interests as a child?
Reading, walking and going to the drive-in cinema. I sat in the car in my pyjamas and watched a film on a big screen. Even though I got home at one in the morning it is worth it! Also, I loved to gaze at all the stars outside my bedroom window. You can’t see them in Cambridge or in London, where I live now.

When you write your stories is there anything you do to get started?
Not really, although sometimes I do sit on a big purple exercise ball, in my pyjamas and drink hot chocolate!

What is the most exciting part of writing stories?
It is when a new character appears who was not in the plot, or when I get an idea for something that changes the story.

If you were not an author what would you be?
I would probably be a teacher. I actually used to be a teacher but I stopped because it was really hard work!

What advice would you give to a child who wants to become an author?
Set yourself a target, achieve it and then set yourself another one!


1Sam Gayton

What did you read as a child?
I liked reading comic books, Asterix, Star Wars and Tintin. I also loved Brian Jacques’ Redwall and Roald Dahl.

What inspired you to write The Snow Merchant?
I had moved to Bath and I was staying in a beautiful old building with huge windows. I brewed some tea and got a packet of hobnobs and sat down to write. I wrote for a long time and I wrote a story that was no good at all! Then, when it was very late, four o’clock in the morning, I looked out of the window. It had snowed and there was a huge, thick layer of snow outside, like a rug. It was white, magical and silent. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I had had four cups of tea and I wondered who had put all that snow there. I imagined a character like Jack Frost who then became the Snow Merchant.

What is the hardest part of being an author?
The hardest part of being an author is the loneliness of being locked inside your brain. You have to get out and go for a walk, otherwise you start to go crazy.

If you were not a writer, what would you be?
I would be a teacher or a taxi driver!

What is your favourite hobby?
I like playing the guitar. I have got seven different guitars, a banjo, an air guitar, 2 electric guitars a mandolin, a classical guitar and a ukulele.

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