Happy Birthday, Gillian Cross, born 24 December 1945
- I’ve got two main tips. First, tell the story as well as you can. If you get to the end and you can see things that are wrong - go back and put them right. There’s no point in rewriting for the sake of it, but you’re very lucky if you get everything right first time. I usually have to rewrite a book three or four times.
- The second tip is - have fun! If you don’t have a good time while you’re writing, how can you expect readers to enjoy themselves? (But that doesn’t mean telling jokes all the time, of course. You can enjoy being sad or serious too.)
- My office has a wonderful view – a brick wall (it doesn’t distract me).
- The key thing is to get the stuff down. Once you've got it, you can revise it, cut it, expand it or alter it out of all recognition.
- It usually takes me between five and nine months to write a book, depending on the length. In that time I rewrite it three or four times, and I’ve always spent quite a long time thinking about it before I start.
Cross is a British author of children’s books. She won the 1990 Carnegie Medal for Wolf and the 1992 Whitbread Children’s Book Award for The Great Elephant Chase. She also wrote The Demon Headmaster series of books that were later turned into television series by the BBC. Visit her website for more information.
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