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Interview with Margaret Bateson-Hill

I prefer pen to pencil, but actually anything that writes – so if it’s a pen the ink needs to flow evenly, or a pencil it needs to be sharp. I have a dreadful habit of picking up biros that give up halfway through a sentence or pencils that are nearly worn down. As any writing implement in my house is in high demand from someone, I try hard to keep my own things safe in a pencil case. I have a series of coloured pilot pens and biros. I take these out to book signings as I like children to choose which colour they’d like their book signed in. (Turquoise blue is always a top choice).

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My own personal favourite pen is a pilot v ball pure liquid ink pen 0.5 (purple ink). I love the way the ink flows evenly.

I do love purple ink!

favourite pen

Actually, I love any pen or pencil that makes my writing not too illegible.

I prefer to write mostly on the computer – which means I can at least read it, unlike my notebooks that are very scribbly. I usually choose A4 notebooks, but I also love little tiny ones to keep in my handbag bag and which are essential for that escaping sentence when it suddenly pops into your head. (I also use ‘notes’ on my phone for that purpose.)

I tend to buy cheap notebooks from Poundland for myself, but love it if someone gives me one with a gorgeous shiny cover and, smooth cream paper.

The thing about cheap ones is you can mess them up, try things out and cross and scribble ideas, but if I get beautiful paper I feel guilty about messing it up. I do mess them up. It’s just that first crossing out hurts!

workday notebooks

I just like the colours of felt-tip pens and biros. I live in the hope that they will help me sort things on paper. I recently started using them in a mind map of my current writing – a middle grade fiction with a working title, Tears for a Bluebird – to help me map out character relationships and plot lines.

mind mapping using feltips and coloured biros

I also like to print out a copy of something I am working on and edit with a coloured pen. I love the mixture of print (nice and clear and legible) and handwritten edit (spontaneous and creative).

I’ve tried post it notes but they lose their stick and I get them in a muddle.

Masha scanI am both an author and a storyteller and have published seven picture books mostly inspired by my work as a storyteller of folk and fairy tale. I’m especially proud of Masha and the Firebird, (illustrated by Anne Wilson) Winner of the English 4-11 Awards key stage 2 1999 in my folktale series, currently published by Alanna Max,  as so many schools use it as a class text. I loved writing my MG fantasy Dragon Racer trilogy (Catnip Publications): First Flight was even nominated for The Brilliant Book Award 2009. I’m often asked why I write so much about dragons. It’s because children are fascinated by them.  I love being out in schools leading dragon-writing workshops. The children’s ideas are awesome and often very moving.

I love that my books have been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Catalan, Dutch, Danish, Korean and Polish.

I am currently writing a middle-grade fantasy, Tears for a Bluebird and a book of poems, Whistle Me a Wind (due to be published by autumn 2019).

As a storyteller, I have worked in a variety of settings including Kensington Palace, the V&A, the British Museum and as resident storyteller for the Horniman Museum

You can find out more about me, my writing and storytelling on my website: www.margaretbateson-hill.co.uk

www.jojodragonflyer.co.uk  is a dedicated website for the Dragon Racer Trilogy

You can also follow me on Twitter: @paperdragon59 and on Facebook: Margaret Bateson-Hill author and storyteller

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