Our merry band of young writers, The Scribblers, posed some particularly brilliant questions to some of the artists appearing at Hay this year. Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you their answers. Today we’re thrilled to be able to speak to the writing team PAUL STEWART & CHRIS RIDDELL.
Describe your latest book in 5 words.
We have had two books published recently.
Muddle Earth Too – “Narnia meets Twilight meets Beowulf”
Bloodhoney – the second in our Wyrmeweald trilogy – “Dragons in the Wild West!”
If you had to pick one of your characters to spend the day with, which one would you choose?
The wonderful thing about writing books is that characters emerge who you would love to get to know in real life. There are several that both of us would happily spend the day with – and others we’d never, ever like to encounter!
Paul: “I think I would most like to ride alongside Rook Barkwater above Lake Landing on a sumpwood skycraft that I had made myself.” (Last of the Sky Pirates)
Chris: “I would spend it tracking through the Wyrmeweald with the cragclimber, Eli Halfwinter.” (Returner’s Wealth)
Both of us would love to play alongside the characters in one of Muddle Earth’s broomball teams.
Which writer, dead or alive, you would like to collaborate with?
Paul: Ever since I was nine years old, when I first read Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, I have wanted to collaborate with the wonderful illustrator, Jules Feiffer. (But don’t tell Chris!)
Chris: “J.K. Rowling!”
What’s the best thing about writing?
For both of us, the most wonderful thing about writing is conjuring up far-off, weird new worlds, travelling there and inhabiting them.
What’s your top tip for budding young writers?
Write something every day. Anything. A descriptive passage, a short piece of dialogue; something funny, something sad… Keep a journal or annotated scrapbook, a diary, a blog. And if you finish writing something, try reading it out loud to a friend. If they yawn, it’s probably a bit boring. But if, when you stop, they go, ‘And what happens next?’, then you’re doing it just right!
Catch Chris and Paul at the festival on Monday 4 June and Tuesday 5 June.