Thanks for the questions about Moonlocket.
I shall try to answer them all for you!
Questions from Alex Hall (age 11)
1. How long did it take to come up with the story line for Moonlocket. How do you plan it out?
Moonlocket took a year and six drafts to write, and the truth is the idea changed quite a bit as I worked on it. But when I started, I did make a plan.
In the beginning, when I am brainstorming, I will tend to write myself short notes about possible ideas. When I have a few of those, I gather them together and turn them into a ten page treatment - which is like a very brief version of the whole story, with just the main points in. I use that as a guide to start writing, but often, by about halfway through the first draft, the details have changed a lot from the things I first wrote down.
2. Do you draw pictures to help you describe people and places in your stories?
When I used to write for animation, I would always draw pictures of my characters to work out what they looked like and how they moved, their gestures and attitudes etc. I don't tend to do that anymore. Nowadays I much prefer to collect interesting photographs that reflect elements of my characters.
When I was half-way through writing Cogheart, I found a picture of a girl and a fox on the internet, which was uncannily close to how I imagined Lily and Malkin looking. I kept that picture in mind while I was writing the book. Those kind of found real Victorian images are always very inspiring.
I am not sure about the origins of this picture or who took it. So if anyone has any information, I would love to know!