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Last Updated: Thursday April 21 2005 07:09 GMT

I met the author Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo speaking at the Oxford Literary Festival

The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival is a must event for any book worm.

Authors from around the world gather in Oxford to hold lectures, workshops and discussions about their work.

Ten-year-old Harry was there and in his report he tells us about meeting one of his favourite authors, Michael Morpurgo.

"Michael Morpurgo is a children's author and also the Children's Laureate who came to talk about his new book The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips.

Michael was also talking about some of his other diary books, such as The Dancing Bear and Private Peaceful.

Lucky cat

Adolphus Tips is based on a true story and is set during World War II.

It's about a cat called Adolphus Tips who was left behind when the Americans evacuated a series of Devon villages in 1943, in order to practice the D-Day landings.

Luckily, the cat survives being bombarded and is eventually reunited with his family.

Hatching an egg

Michael was an entertaining speaker - at times very funny but also, very sad.

The audience was large - perhaps 300 children or more.

When talking about how he writes his stories, he said he thinks the story through in his head first.

He said it's a bit like a chicken hatching an egg - you start with a skeleton and then the body then the feathers and then it grows into a chick and it hatches.

It always takes longer than he thinks it will - instead of it taking three weeks like a hen's egg, it will perhaps take three months.

The interview

Then I went to the Green Room where Michael let me interview him.

He was a kind and friendly person who was very willing to chat about his work. And this is what we talked about:

Q. Are you writing a new book? If so, what can you reveal about it?

A. I would tell you something about it, but at the moment I don't know what it's about and I don't know what it's called!

Q. The boy in the Butterfly Lion is based on you. Did you really run away from boarding school?

A. I did run away and I did get found by an old lady, yes. I usually write stories about things that have actually happened.

Q. What inspired you to become an author?

A. Mainly teaching children, even though I did say in my talk that I hated writing when I was younger.

Q. In most of your books, you mention Chelsea football club. Why is that?

A. One of my friends supported Chelsea so much that I suppose I never thought of supporting any other club and now I'm a great supporter myself!

Thank you Michael Morpurgo for a most interesting morning at The Oxford Literary Festival."

Harry, 10, Oxford


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