I love doing school visits, especially for the questions I get asked. I often promise the students that if they ask me a question I've never been asked before, I'll write it down - one of the reasons for doing that (I don’t tell them!) is to give me some thinking time! Some questions come up frequently, but a new one can still stump me.
So thanks to students at a number of schools recently for these intriguing questions:
Do you like chocolate cake? (not an entirely random question, based on my book The great chocolate cake bake off)
Did you personally know the lighthouse family? (from the book Lighthouse family)
Do you plan on being an author forever?
And a similar one: do you think you will keep writing forever?
Do you have any relatives who were in the war? Have you got anything of theirs, like medals?
Did any nurses die in world war one?
Were the Turkish trenches the same as the Anzac ones?
If you could go back and stop the Anzac troops invading Gallipoli, would you?
(Answer seems obvious, but then led to an interesting discussion on the "butterfly effect")
What was your favourite part of going to Gallipoli? What was the worst part? What new foods did you try? Would you go back?
Have you ever met an Anzac?
What is your favourite colour?
What is your favourite country that you've been to?
Have you ever tried bully beef?
(I said no and I didn’t think the sort they ate back then would have been very nice, but that I had an excuse not ever to try it, or anything similar, because I'm vegetarian.)
Why are you vegetarian?
I especially like writery questions like these:
What is the hardest book you have written?
Which is the book you have enjoyed writing the most?
What is your biggest responsibility as a writer?
What is your favourite topic for writing about?
Do you have any goals for yourself?
What do you do for writer's block?
How do you make up your characters? Is there a character like you in any of your books?
Do you do the covers of your books? Have you ever had a cover you don't like?
And this must be one of my all-time favourite questions:
Have you ever inspired any children to read?