Jacqueline Wilson answers your questions

Award-winning children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson answered your questions before a sold-out signing

HUNDREDS of fans queued on Barnstaple High Street on Friday to catch a glimpse of best-selling children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

Excited children travelled with their parents from as far afield as Swansea, Taunton, and Cornwall to see the author and get their hands on a signed copy of her new book, The Worst Thing About My Sister.

Waterstone’s quickly sold all of its 200 tickets for the special meet and greet but many young fans snuck into the shop for a peek at the acclaimed writer.

Becky Jones, 11, from St Ives, was at the front of the queue. She said: “We’ve been queuing for two-and-a-half hours, but it was definitely worth it.”

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Before the book signing, the Gazette spoke to Jacqueline Wilson and asked her some of your questions.

Abbie Francis, 10, from Bideford asked: “Out of all the books you have written, what is your favourite book and why?”

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Jacqueline answered: “I think my favourite book would have to be Hetty Feather. I normally write contemporary stories but I enjoyed writing about the Victorian era so much that I even wrote a sequel and have finished a third book about her which will be out soon.”

Savannah Hawkins, 10, from Bideford, asked: “Where do you get your inspiration?”

Jacqueline answered: “That is a question that I never know the answer to; just some tiny little thing will set me off. It may be a child will just tell me something little, like how they hate sharing their bedroom with their sister.

“In my diary I write down all my different ideas, and if one haunts me I know it’s the one to go with.”

Hannah, 11, from Braunton asked: “What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?”

Jacqueline answered: “The advice I would generally give is to read a lot. Reading is a lovely thing to do, and it helps you to develop your own imagination and vocabulary.

“Also, keep a diary. It stands you in good stead if you can write in it every day.

“I think you need a little bit of talent, a whole lot of luck and a huge amount of hard work to become a writer.

“I wrote throughout my schooldays and got my first short story published in a magazine when I was 17. It wasn’t until I was 22 that I became a published author and started to write full time.”

Tamsin Dark, 9, from Barnstaple asked: “What is your daughter’s favourite book, and have you written any books about you and her?”

Jacqueline answered: “I have never been asked that before – I shall have to ask her. I think she might say The Illustrated Mum, because I was with her when I got the inspiration for the story. We were walking along when we saw a woman with amazing tattoos and Emma said to me, ‘that looks like a character’.

“I haven’t written any books about her. When she was a teenager she got very worried about me writing about her, and I promised her then that I would never publish anything about her, even though she is all grown up now.”

Jacqueline’s new book, The Worst Thing About My Sister, is out now.

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