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Last Updated: Wednesday November 02 2005 15:14 GMT

Authors on the spot: GP Taylor

GP Taylor
GP Taylor is a very popular children's writer and has written books such as Shadowmancer and Wormwood.

Shadowmancer is going to be made into a big budget film.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?
My favourite book when I was a child was William Golding's Lord of the Flies. The reason was that it was a group of boys on an island without any grown-ups. I just wanted that to happen - to get rid of all the teachers and live on an island with all my mates and do crazy things.

How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
When I was 42, I am 47 now! I woke up one morning and thought: 'I'm going to be a writer! I'm going to write a book.' I thought I'd better start with a children's book. So I wrote a children's book.

And I self published it by selling my motorbike. It came out and within four weeks I had signed to Faber and Faber and the Times had printed an article saying this book is hotter than Harry Potter!

Any tips for kids who want to get started as an aspiring author?
Yes, it is very straightforward. You have to read - an awful lot. And then you can start writing. That's the vital thing. Reading is the most important thing you can do if you want to be an author.

When you read it teaches you to see how other authors describe their stories and their characters. And it teaches you to understand the whole principle of writing books. The only way to do that is by reading someone else's work.

What makes books so special?
Because books allow you to use your imagination. TV is really good, TV is brilliant. But TV does not ask you to use your imagination. When you tell stories you can see kids are absolutely fascinated. It's all about storytelling and imagination. It's an amazing experience to tell stories to children. I read to school children quite a lot.

How do you get your inspiration for your writing?
I get my inspiration from watching TV!! I am an avid film buff too. My favourite programme is Doctor Who! I just sit there and watch Doctor Who and all these story ideas come into my head. For some reason watching Doctor Who always inspires me to have incredibly fantastic ideas. And Blue Peter does it for me too. I'm just a big kid really!

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