Children's Literature Interest Group: Interview with Steve Skidmore

Steve SkidmoreSteve Skidmore and his writing partner Steve Barlow are known collectively as 'the Two Steves'. The 2 Steves met over twenty years ago when they were both teaching in Nottingham. Since then they have written over 150 books together. They have also acted as series editors on numerous reading programmes for several major publishing houses.

In addition to their many popular fiction series like Action Dogs, Challenger, iHero, iHorror, Mad Myths, Vernon Bright and The Dark Forest, they have written many non fiction books, TV scripts and edited many plays. They also write extensively for the reluctant reader.

When you start to write a book, do you know how it will end?

Mostly - as I talk it through with my writing partner, Steve Barlow.

Do you base your characters on real people?

Sometimes! They are a mash up of many people and imagination.

Do you follow the same process each time you write?

No - each project is different.

At what stage in your writing do you use a computer?

From the very beginning to make notes.

How much do you edit your work?

Far too much - editors make us do it!

How much does your editor change what you write?

Depends on the pr9ject and the editor.

Do you ever get writer's block? What do you do about it?

Can't afford to - as there are two of us working, one of us usually gets inspiration.

What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

Selling the next project.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Sharing ideas and encouraging students to want to read.

At which point did you become a writer?

When I was 3 - although as a published writer, 25 years ago.

Do you have input regarding the cover of your books?

Sometimes.

What do you think you would be if you weren't an author?

Teacher

What is your attitude to ebooks?

They are a delivery system. When Hitler burnt books he wasn't burning paper he was burning the ideas contained in the book.

What was your favourite book(s) when you were a child?

Winne the Pooh. (Still is.)

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Read lots, write lots.

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