FREYA-NORTHQ. Which other EAFOL 2016 participant are you most excited about?

Oh there’s more than one. Chris Hadfield because I just want to ask what was it like what was it like what was it like?! Anthony Horowitz and Darren Shan because their novels have had such a huge impact on my 14 year old son – also Jacqueline Wilson and Lauren Child who’ve been an enormous inspiration to my daughter. I can’t wait to have a catch-up with authors I’ve met over the years — and also the opportunity to meet others and make new friends.

Q. Which book(s) are you reading now?

Scripts! Lots and lots of scripts – as I would very much like to adapt some of my stories and develop ideas for the screen. I’m reading original screenplays as well as adaptations of novels I’ve read. To tell a story via a 90 page script is a very different discipline to having 120,000 words and 400+ pages to play with!

Q. Which literary character would you invite to dinner? And why?

Well, I think I’d like Black Beauty to come over to my farm for a nice bucket of feed, a huge haynet, a juicy apple, a couple of carrots and all the grass he can eat in my paddock. I absolutely loved this book when I was a pony-mad child and I still do. Anna Sewell really created something remarkable – to tell a cracking tale and yet to comment so astutely on society and humankind through the eyes of a horse.

Q. There have been some interesting additions to the dictionary over the years. Which word would you remove?

In the words of the late David Bowie, ‘Don’t you love the Oxford Dictionary? When I first read it I thought it was a really really long poem about everything’. I wouldn’t remove any words! I love the fact that language is an organic, germinating entity. I could happily wile away hour after hour dipping into my dictionary and thesaurus (never the on-line versions – always hardback!).

Q. Who would write/ illustrate the story of your life?

I fear it would be a rather dull book… but I’d love Thomas Hardy to do so. He’s my favourite author. The tale of a city-bound girl who yearns for a rural life… and through fortune and misfortune, she eventually makes it happen.