Sara and Hannah spent an hour with Charlie, asking him the questions that some of his readers have been asking them. Below are the questions that they asked Charlie and Charlie's answers to those questions!
Sara: For how long have you been writing stories?
Charlie: I've been writing stories for about five years. However, I have only this year started to write stories specifically for children.
Hannah: Why do you write for children?
Charlie: I love telling stories and I know I love to listen to them too! Above all, I like to share, and sharing my stories is one of the ways in which I try to make the world a happier place.
Sara: The first story you published was ‘The Marmoset who shared his lunch’. The theme of this story is centred round man’s destruction of the rainforests and how the animals who live within them struggle for survival. Is conservation something you are passionate about?
Charlie: I am very passionate about the way man is destroying the rain forest, just as I am passionate about a lot of other problems too. It's not easy to do something by yourself. I hope the story makes people think about the destruction of this vital ecosystem, one which we all rely upon for our survival. I try to recycle as much as possible and reduce my waste by reusing things and finding new uses for them. Everyone can do a little bit more and if we all do, it adds up to a big change.
Hannah: Your first three books have all involved animals. Do you have a favourite animal and are there any you are afraid of?
Charlie: My favourite animal is the dog but I am also very fond of cats and small birds. I am absolutely petrified of snakes. I love all animals (except maybe for snakes). Animals give positive energy to the people around them. They are very good healers and almost never argue with you. I don't have an animal at my home at the moment; I'm too busy looking after the pets of my friends and neighbours who are on holiday.
Sara: Will you always write stories that involve animals in some way?
Charlie: Always. They have wonderful characters that make for really good and entertaining stories.
Hannah: Of your first three books, who is your favourite character and why?
Charlie: I like Phileas because he is brave, and he has a dog. I like Peggy because she is curious about things just like me.
Sara: ‘Carrots’ Bad Day’ is the first adventure of Lucie and Phileas and you are currently writing their second, ‘The Mara and the Alien’. Do you see many more adventures for these two characters who became good friends in the first book?
Charlie: I see many more adventures for this pair of children; and almost all will include a rabbit of some kind; rabbits are so chilled out!
Hannah: Charlie; on your web pages you mention ‘The Humblenot’. Who is ‘The Humblenot’ and will there be a story about this character?
Charlie: Humblenot is a forest dwelling, story telling creature that might be human or a tree or a rock; no one is brave enough to ask because he looks pretty fearsome. The first story to be told by Humblenot is 'Humblenot and The Sparrow & the Robin". Oh, more animals!
Sara: Where does the inspiration for some of your stories come from?
Charlie: Everywhere. Animals inspire stories but almost anything will trigger a thought that sometimes turns into a story. Story telling is a human instinct; we've told stories since the beginning of time. The need to communicate with people is a very strong motivation for me.
Hannah: The author Roald Dahl had a special place in which to write his books. Do you have such a place where you like to write?
Charlie: I write in my cottage which is deep in the forest.
Sara: Can you tell us what you are writing at the moment?
Charlie: The first Humblenot story.
Hannah: Are the stories easy to write once you have dreamed them up in your mind?
Charlie: Sometimes it is very easy, but not always. The hardest thing is writing the story in a way that both children and adults will enjoy.
Hannah: On your website home page, you say that you welcome story suggestions from your readers. How easy is it to write a story that has been suggested to you?
Charlie: Sometimes the ideas for a story are very easy to find once the suggestion has been made to me but if I can't 'see' the characters in my mind's eye then it becomes far more difficult and I find it hard to write about them. People suggest stories to me all the time, often without knowing that they are! The ideas might come from something that I might notice about a person; a particular characteristic. Sometimes I don't even know the person; I might simply be in a queue waiting to pay for my shopping! At other times it is enough for me to hear things; a part of a conversation for example can suddenly give life to a new character. Humblenot is one such character who came to my mind during a conversation with a friend who had said to me: “in my humble opinion . . . not!” . . . and hey presto! There was Humblenot! I have found this character easier to work with than I thought I would but only after I had a clear picture of the creature in my head.
Sara: All of your books are available on kindle and ‘Carrots’ Bad Day’ has been published in paperback. Will you make the other two and indeed any you write in the future, available in paperback too?
Charlie: Yes, all of my stories will be made available in paperback. However, the story has to be 24 pages long at least to be made available as a paperback. That means that some stories, which are shorter than 24 pages, will be made available as a collection of stories with others.
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