Our very own Toppsta reviewer, Madeleine (age 8), created some fabulous interview questions for Pamela Butchart after reading her brand-new Secret Seven adventure, Mystery of the Skull. Here’s what she had to say:
How long did it take you to write the book Mystery of the Skull?
It took about 6 months altogether. (And lots and LOTS of ginger biscuits!)
I love the Secret Seven books and was delighted that there was a new one out but what made you decide to write a Secret Seven book?
I was lucky enough to be asked by the Super-Special Keepers of Enid Blyton to write a brand new book for the much-loved series. I was a HUGE Secret Seven fan as a child (and still am) so it’s been a dream-come-true!
I really loved reading Mystery of the Skull and think it’s a brilliant book but were you a bit nervous about following in the footsteps of Enid Blyton?
YES. I was THRILLED when I was asked to write a new book. And then I was scared. And then I was excited again. And then I was TERRIFIED. And then I just started writing and eating ginger biscuits and jam tarts and had LOADS of fun.
When did you start writing books?
I wrote my first book when I was eight years old. It was called The Toilet Ghost and it was published when I was 30!
How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
I get most of my inspiration from my memories of my time at primary school. But I also get ideas from:
- Things my pupils (and the other teachers) say or do
- Things I overhear
- Random objects and pictures
- The weather
Did you have the whole story in mind for Mystery of the Skull before you wrote it or do you just start off with an idea and write it as you are going along?
I just started writing and let the characters take me where they wanted to go (but then I got a bit stuck and had to stop and make a plan and that helped a lot).
Do you have any hobbies or things that you enjoy doing when you are not writing books?
YES! I love:
- Spending time with my baby boy, Albie. He’s awesome.
- Sock shopping
- Doing Christmas stuff :)
Do you plan on writing more Secret Seven books?
YES! I’ve just finished the NEXT Secret Seven book and it’s called The Mystery of the Theatre Ghost. It’s a spooky one...
What is your favourite book and who is your favourite character?
My favourite book is Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr and my favourite character is Mog.
If you couldn’t have been an author what job would you like to have done instead?
I’m a teacher as well as an author but I think that when I’m all grown up I’d also like to run a luxury hotel for stray cats.