Children's book club Q&A with Jacqueline Wilson
To coincide with our August 2012 Children's Book of the Month, Four Children and It, we invited author Jacqueline Wilson to answer a selection of your questions. You asked the mega-bestselling children's author what she thought about the televised drama of Tracy Beaker, which of her characters she is most like, and what advice she'd give aspiring writers.
Jacqueline is the former Children's Laureate, the creator of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and The Illustrated Mum and has written 93 novels, which have sold more than 30 million copies in the UK alone. Her latest book, Four Children and It is a modern take on E. Nesbit's classic, Five Children and It.
aaaaagh: Which of your characters would you say was most like yourself? Have you done any of the naughty things they've got up to?
Jacqueline Wilson: I was a relatively good child, so it is fun to invent outrageous characters. I think I am pretty similar to Rosalind in Four Children and It.
FalseStartered: What's your opinion of the televised drama series of your Tracy Beaker stories?
Jacqueline Wilson: I'm delighted they've been successful. You perhaps don't get from the television series any of Tracy's inner turmoil, so sometimes the teenage Tracy seems a bit too obstreperous, but I'm so pleased that the programme has given so many children great pleasure.
PomBearWithAnOFRS: How did you come to work with the illustrator Nick Sharratt. How much input do you get into the design and illustration of your work?
Jacqueline Wilson: When I wrote The Story of Tracy Beaker, I asked my editor if I could have lots of illustrations in the text and he had the brilliant idea of suggesting Nick Sharratt. We met up and got on like a house on fire and we've had a very happy artistic partnership ever since. As soon as I've finished a story, I send it to Nick and he always comes up with delightful and appropriate illustrations.
grannyperv: Why are the stepdads in your books always horrible to the children?
Jacqueline Wilson: In my book The Longest Whale Song, there was a particularly lovely stepdad, so I hope he makes up for some of the bad guys in my books! Please remember that my child narrators are often going through a difficult time and can't always appreciate that their new stepdad is trying his best.
gazzalw: Have you ever considered writing a novel aimed specifically at boys?
Jacqueline Wilson: I have written several novels with boy characters such as Cliffhanger, Buried Alive and The Werepuppy.
aristocat: What was your favourite lesson at school?
Jacqueline Wilson: I loved English but I also very much enjoyed Art.
OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere: You have tackled so many tricky subjects, would you ever consider writing a book about young teens with cancer?
Jacqueline Wilson: It's certainly a subject I've thought about. Especially since I've got to know many young people dealing with cancer.
It's a tricky subject because I'd want to be truthful and yet I'd hate it if anyone gave up hope or became depressed because of something I'd written. Maybe I'll find a way of doing it one day.
ICantFindAFreeNickName: How did you feel as a child having a birthday so close to Christmas?
Jacqueline Wilson: It's not great timing and it was a bit irritating if people gave me a combined present. However, nowadays my family and closest friends are very sweet and make sure I always get two entirely separate presents!
Hopezibah: What advice would you give someone who wanted to follow in your footsteps?
Jacqueline Wilson: I would read a great deal, write a great deal, be prepared to work very hard and hope you get lucky!
tabulahrasa: Which of your books do you like best?
Jacqueline Wilson: It's always hard to choose. I like Four Children and It because it is my latest baby and I have a very soft spot for Hetty Feather.
Last updated: 4 months ago