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Last Updated: Thursday June 01 2006 16:47 GMT

Kids' author GP Taylor talks about books and bums

GP Taylor
GP Taylor chatted to fans and signed books at the Hay Fever festival in Wales.

He's created books including Shadowmancer, Wormwood and Tersias.

He chatted to Newsround Online's Clare Youell.


Do you like coming to children's book festivals?

I think festivals appeal to a very small minority of kids, but for what they are, they're great fun. I love the fact that we've just sold out a venue, that the majority of people in there were kids, we've all had a laugh and they've learnt a bit about where to get ideas for stories from. I try to make them fun so kids can see that writers can be fun. The only reason I do festivals is to meet the kids.

Do you have much contact with your fans?

I get 3,000 emails a month and I answer every single one. I slog my way through. Kids can't believe it when the author actually emails back, they reply and say 'Is it REALLY you?'

What's been the kids' reaction to you at the Hay Fever festival?

The kids came up to me at the end and said 'We didn't realise an author could be so funny.' I just try to make it as enjoyable for them as possible. Yes it is slightly risqué - I do use the words poo, fart, bum and bogey, but the kids love it. What other word are you going to use for fart? Trump? Botty burp? Fart says it all!

GP Taylor on stage

Were you worried about following on from the success of Shadowmancer?

Not really. It's just a book. They either sell or they don't. They're just there for the kids to enjoy.

How would you feel if you had a flop?

I wouldn't mind. I've got an 11-book contract and I can't be expected to pull a fantastic book out of the bag every time. One day I will write a bummer.

What can fans expect from your latest book, Tersias?

They can expect highwaymen, very dangerous villains, a fast, gripping plot and to be thrilled and chilled.

Have you had much criticism over your books being too scary?

The kids love it and the adults think it's scary. It's true! It is a bit scary at times but so is life! If you want scary, wait til you read The Curse of Salamander Street - the sequel to Shadowmancer!

You started writing at age 43, what age would you tell kids who want to be writers to start out?

I recommend that young wannabe writers start now. I get a lot of emails from kids who send me their stories and I read a few pages and send them a critique. There's some fantastic talent out there. Kids as young as 10 or 11 writing really good stuff - Heaven knows what they'll be like when they're 21-22. But you've got to read - the more you read the better you will be able to write.

The character Tersias, in your latest book, can see into the future. If you could see into the future, what would you want to know?

Nothing! Because I am so happy in my present. All I want to know is that when I die my kids will be all right.

What's next for you?

Shadowmancer 2 - The Curse of Salamander Street - is out in September. The Tizzle Sisters is out in October. That's my new interactive book. It's a book which starts off with lots of pictures, and speech bubbles, and some text, and by the time you get to the end it's mostly writing. So the pictures lure you into the story and hopefully make you keep on reading.

It's about twin sisters in a children's home and how they cope when one of them is adopted by a rich lady in a spooky house, and the other is left behind.

Then my autobiography is out in November.



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