Ellen Richardson: You can be anyone you want

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. A big summer thumbs up to ELLEN RICHARDSON.

Describe your latest book in 5 words.

Best friends, fun, mystery island

If you had to pick one of your characters to spend the day with, which one would you choose?

That’s really difficult. All three girls in the Flip Flop books would be great company. I’d choose Tash if I wanted a day sailing or seal watching; Elly if I wanted adventure; Sierra to go shopping with and because she’s funny. Since I can’t choose between the girls, I’ll have to pick Mojo the dog because I really want a border terrier.

Which writer, dead or alive, you would like to collaborate with?

Diana Wynne Jones is my favourite children’s writer and when I discovered her books as an adult, I felt an immediate sense of identity with her internal world. I’d love to have met her. But writing is an intensely personal thing and I can’t imagine sharing characters or a plot with another writer. Working with an editor is totally different and very useful.

What’s the best thing about writing?

The characters. They become like real people to you. Also, when you write, you can be anyone you want and have adventures and experiences you can’t in real life.

What’s your top tip for budding young writers?

Read constantly and read lots of different sorts of things. Realise that writing well – like learning to play an instrument or do a sport well – takes hard work and practice. Most of all: write the story you want to read yourself and make sure you have fun writing it. You have to entertain yourself or you’ve got no chance of entertaining your readers.

Catch Ellen at the festival, a week today, Saturday 9 June, 10.30am

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One thought on “Ellen Richardson: You can be anyone you want

  1. Well that really sounds like a lot of fun, my congrats on your book guys!

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