Arts Q&As

Lots of fascinating guests from the worlds of arts and culture have been on Mumsnet to answer your questions about their work, inspiration and future plans. 


Jeff Kinney, children's author and cartoonist

"I always wanted to be a newspaper cartoonist, but I couldn't get anyone to publish my work. So I decided to start writing as a kid, and that's how Greg Heffley came to life."  Jeff Kinney, November 2011

Jeff Kinney is the creator of the comic-strip/novel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He answered questions from his young fans on everything from how he became an author to his favourite writing places.



Giles Andreae, children's author

"It's easier to write a line in a different way than to sweat over coming up with a particularly cunning or clever rhyme."
Giles Andreae, April 2011

Giles Andreae is the creator of Purple Ronnie and The Interesting Thoughts of Edward Monkton. He answered your questions on everything from learning to rhyme and the inspiration for his books, to his personal experiences of depression and what makes him happy.



William BoydWilliam Boyd, novelist

"The minute you begin to compare a film with the novel-source the film will lose. Film cannot compete with the massive generosity and incredible subtleties and nuances of the novel."
William Boyd, November 2010

The TV adaptation of his popular novel Any Human Heart was at the centre of this Q&A with novelist William Boyd. He also responded to your criticisms, divulged his favourite novels and discussed his relationship with his characters. 


Anthony BrowneAnthony Browne, children's laureate

"I agree that there is a lot of condescending stuff around, but children are capable of appreciating and enjoying much more challenging, interesting stories." Anthony Browne, July 2010

Why do so many of Anthony Browne's books contain darker themes? What does he like to read in his downtime? And why does he draw gorillas so much? These questions and more were answered in our Q&A with Anthony Browne.



Lauren Child, author of Charlie and Lola

"Lola was inspired by a little girl that I saw on a train when I was travelling in Denmark many years ago." Lauren Child, June 2010 

From where Cement the Dog gets his name from to whether or not there could be a Lola-inspired fashion range in the works, children's author Lauren Child gave us the lowdown. 



Lionel Shriver, novelist

"Female fiction writers are often cast as people who can only write from personal experience, whereas male fiction writers are often cast as mysterious shamans who can conjure great art from thin air." Lionel Shriver, May 2010

Lionel Shriver's "compelling and repulsive" book about motherhood, We Need to Talk About Kevin, was the main focus of her Q&A, which also featured in-depth discussion of her other novels. 


Michael Morpurgo, children's author

"I write about what I care about, what I love, what makes me angry, what makes me sad. I don't think of my reader when I'm writing. I know sadness is a universal human experience, whether we are young or old, so I see no point in avoiding it." Michael Morpurgo, December 2008

Award-winning children's author Michael Morpurgo answered your questions about life, literature and learning, as well as why so many of his books are so sad. 

Last updated: 7 months ago