Hannah from The Scribblers interviews Catherine Barr

As Catherine Barr’s daughter there isn’t much I can say apart from ‘it was brilliant’, which it really was. It was very inspiring to see Mum talk about her and Steve’s book The Story of Life when it has only just come out in print! I think the audience really enjoyed how they both invited children to join in with the talk, to come up and hold creatures drawn by Amy Husband along an amazing timeline made by my Granny. Also, one of the highlights was the question time at the end, which really showed they were all listening and learning. I think it was fantastic to see Amy draw a picture throughout the talk, to auction off to the highest bidder, and then they gave the money to the Hertfordshire Wildlife Trust.

Quickfire questions:

Q: Glass half full or half empty?

A: Glass half full.

Q: Text or call?

A: Call.

Q: Notebook or laptop?

A: Notebook.

Q: Bunkbeds – top or bottom?

A: Top.

Q: If you had a day off and money was not an object, what would you do?

A: I would go on a really, really long walk in the mountains, and then go back to a really, really nice hotel and have a bottle of wine and maybe even a swim in the pool.

Q: If you were PM, what would be the first law you passed?

A: I would pass a law to make sure that climate change had to be an absolute priority, and also all the money was taken away from the oil industry and put into renewable energy.

Q: If you had a super power what would it be?

A: To fly, because then you can get a good perspective on everything, and zoom in on the important things.

Q: What would be your ideal workplace ?

A: I would like an incredible hut overlooking a lovely view with lots of mountains.

Q: What is your favourite part of the writing process?

A: I have two favourite parts: to find everything out and do the research; and to decide which bits to put in or leave out, and I like it when I have a deadline, say, write a page by the end of the morning. I really like that feeling of a deadline.

Q: Did something or someone influence you to write your book?

A: Yes, my children. I wrote the book for my children to understand, for a start, why they came into the world, and the story of life on Earth, and I couldn’t believe that they weren’t learning it at school, and they were going to leave primary school not knowing what really happened at the beginning of life on Earth.

Q: Was publishing your book The Story of Life a quick process?

A: No, it was a slow process. Writing the book was fairly quick, but the whole process of publishing it was very slow, and I have been astounded by how slow the publishing industry is and the process of publishing and the process of actually producing a book.

Q: Did you write your book with an intention for it to be published, or was it just something you wanted to do?

A: Yes, definitely – I wanted to get it to schools and parents, and tables and kitchens and bedrooms.

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