Jacqueline Wilson is truly a superstar of children's literature, having sold 25 million books in the UK so far. A recent Mori poll voted Jacqueline to be English children's favourite author. Her latest book, Little Darlings, published on 4 March, is already a bestseller.
Jacqueline says she always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first 'novel' when she was nine, filling in countless Woolworths' exercise books as she grew up. As a teenager she started work for a magazine publishing company and then went on to work as a journalist on Jackie magazine (which she was told was named after her!) before turning to writing novels full-time.
One of Jacqueline's most successful and enduring creations has been the famous Tracy Beaker, who first appeared in 1991 in The Story of Tracy Beaker. Since then Jacqueline has been on countless awards shortlists and has gone on to win many awards.
In 2002 Jacqueline was awarded the OBE for services to literacy in schools and from 2005 to 2007 she was the Children's Laureate. In 2008 she became Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
The Jacqueline Wilson Magazine has recently launched, with the tag line "For girls who love reading". So I thought it would be a good idea to get some girls who love reading to put their questions to their favourite author. Several ParentDish readers whose children love books sent in their questions, and here's the result:
Zoe aged 12 from Scotland has her own book blog and asks: I know that you have written about lots of issues and problems that real kids are going through. Is there any topic that you would really like to tackle in the future? Or feel you need to? Thank you for not being scared to talk about these things. My mum is a therapist that works with kids and it's great that they get to feel listened to and understood through your work.
JW: Thank you for your lovely email, Zoe. There aren't any specific topics I'd like to tackle. I wonder if there's an issue you'd really like to read about?
Beth aged 10 from Hertfordshire asks: There's a new TV series called "Tracy Beaker Returns". Is this how you imagined Tracy turning out when she was older?
JW: It was my idea to have Tracy returning to the children's home as a care worker as it isn't unusual for children who have been in care to return when they're adults wanting to put something back into the care system. The new TV series is more or less how I'd imagined it. I hope you're enjoying watching it.
Lia aged 10 from Brighton asks: I am a bookworm, do people ever call you a bookworm? Have you ever regretted becoming a writer?
JW: I am a total bookworm, completely lost without a book to read. I love being a writer and I've never wanted to be anything else.
Eve aged 9 from Leicestershire asks: What are your top tips for writing a great story?
JW: I should just jump straight into writing the story, imagining it inside your head as vividly as you can.
Phoebe aged 10 from Walsall and Emily aged 11 from Staffordshire both want to know about what inspires you: Where did your inspiration first come from and where does it come from now?
JW: Hi Phoebe and Emily – I don't really know what inspires me! Writing is just like an imaginary game. I just pretend a character and they become real for me.
Melissa aged 11 from the Midlands wants to know: Out of all the books you have written, which is your favourite?
JW: I have a very soft spot for my Victorian book Hetty Feather.
Charlotte and Megan, both 7 from Shropshire ask: What was your favourite subject at school when you were little?
JW: I liked English and Art best when I was at school. Maths and PE were definitely the lessons I liked least.
Belle aged 7 from Somerset asks: How long does it take you to write a book?
JW: It takes me about six months to write a book. I bet it takes you less time than that to read it?!
And finally, several children wanted to know what's your favourite colour?!
JW: I like the colour blue and also various shades of green – but I nearly always wear black clothes with lots of silver jewellery.
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