My favourite writing implement is a pencil with a rubber on the end – what I’d call a good old fashioned word processor. I prefer my pencils slightly chunky, the lead on the soft side. Not sharp sharp, not blunt, sometimes I have to rub the point until it’s at that perfect stage where you can hear it scraping along the page – to me that is the sound of writing and I love it.
I love note books. I like smallish ones with hard covers, that feel substantial in your hand. I like lined paper, with the lines far apart so your y’s and j’s don’t disturb the writing on the line below. I use a different notebook for each book I’m working on and it can take me a long time to find the right one, if it’s not in my stock of notebooks that I’ve collected when I couldn’t resist. I also have small notebooks which I carry everywhere, for jotting down those things that pop into your head at the oddest moments. At home, I’m very good at writing down my thoughts on the backs of envelopes and have been known to go rummaging down the recycling to retrieve them.
My character Dougal Daley writes a lot of notes, especially in the first book in the series – It’s NOT my Fault. I have a set of sharpies in several colours which I use for writing his notes to take on school visits – these always go down well and are great fun to write.
Then there is my signing pen. This has to be a gel-pen, narrow-guage and flowing. I love the smooth feel of these when signing books – also I can write quickly with them and this really helps when you have a long queue of eager children (which also happens to be my favourite place in the whole world).
Jackie Marchant is the award-winning author of the Dougal Daley series, published by Wacky Bee Books.