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  Jacqueline Wilson talks books with Annie, 9
Updated 28 May 2003, 20.11
Jacqueline Wilson meets bookworm Annie, 9
Jacqueline Wilson fan Annie, 9, caught up with her fave author at the Hay Book Festival.

She interviewed the famous author for Newsround.


What inspired you to write books?
I always liked reading books. Even as a little girl I always used to come to lovely book shops and peer at all the books. I made up my own stories as well and I thought what could be more special than writing my own books when I was grown up.

At what age did you start writing?
I wrote all the way through my school days but I didn't get my first story published until I was 17 which I thought was ages.

But in actual fact not many people get something published in their teens so I was very pleased.

What's your favourite book that you've written and why?
I like the story Tracy Beaker, I like a book called Lola Rose and I like a book called Double Act too.

How are you able to write about the harsh realities of life?
Sometimes people think I write from my own personal experience and I would have had the most terrible terrible life if everything that happened in my books happened to me.

Tracy Beaker
Tracy Beaker

I think when I was your age books dealt with all sorts of happy, cosy jolly families and I always thought "How would you feel if you were not part of this sort of family?"

So I thought even then that I wanted to write about kids going through quite sad times or kids who maybe don't have a really lovely happy family.

And I suppose as I've written more books I've just carried on like this and now children ask me why I don't write about a really happy family and maybe it's time I did.

How do you create new characters and personalities?
I think it's because I always used to make up people and play pretend games and I got so used to it that even now I just make up characters in my head so I never have any trouble finding new characters.

It's just like a little switch I click on and there they are in my head. It's slightly more difficult trying to find good things to happen to them but making them up is no problem at all.

Are you happy with the way Tracy Beaker is portrayed on television?
I love the way that they've done Tracy Beaker. I think that Danny is absolutely brilliant as Tracy. I couldn't be a more pleased and proud author.

Is the second series of Tracy Beaker based on the second book The Dare Game?
No they thought that it probably wouldn't quite work because the Dare Game goes away from the children's home and it's Tracy and her foster Mum together.

And the television people thought very sensibly it would be better to keep things in the children's home.

So children have two choices, they can read one version of what happens to Tracy in the Dare Game. And see another version of what's happened to Tracy on television.

Jayne Eyre
Fave: Jayne Eyre

Are you writing any book at the moment?
There's a book called Midnight which is a bit different because it has got some fairies in but it's not a fantasy story, it's my sort of realistic story but there are fairies in it.

And I'm in the middle of writing a book now called Best Friends.

You're my favourite author - who's yours?
I've got heaps of favourite authors. I think my all time favourite classic is Jayne Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Children's authors? I'm still a sucker for a picture booked called Where the Wild Things Are I never ever get tired of reading that.

Has success changed you at all?
I don't think it has. I still do perfectly normal things like I still go around the shops and I go swimming with my friends every morning and I do daft things like Line Dancing.

But it's meant I can buy more rings and I any books I want. So it has changed a little bit, yes!

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ChatJacqueline in the hotseat
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ClubI met Jacqueline Wilson

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