- DO U THINK WE NEED TO ADD MORE QUESTIONS?
ALSO WHAT ABOUT THE ORDER?]
When did you start writing?
Who was your favourite children's
writer when you were younger?
Who is your current favourite children's
Q. What are you reading now?
Where did you get the inspiration
from Samuel Blink and the Forbidden
What have been the defining moments
in your career so far?
A. Nothing beats that first
phone-call when you find out your
book is going to be published. But
generally the best moments are those
when everything just clicks and the
idea for a novel is suddenly complete
in your head. It feels like reaching
the top of a very steep hill and finally
being able to take your backpack off.
Who are your biggest literary and
non-literary influences? [MATT!!]
A. Anxiety is my main influence.
I think, really, anxiety is the key
mood at the beginning of the twenty-first
century, so being a naturally anxious
person helps capture that kind of
. Did you always want to be a novelist?
A. No. When I was 8 I wanted
to be a pop star and made a cassette
of songs with my sister, using her
synthesiser, and I sent it to Duran
Duran's record label. I then phoned
the receptionist to ask if it got
there, and she very sweetly burst
my dream. After that, my ambitions
got smaller and smaller, until I had
a breakdown/breakthrough in my twenties
and became a teetotal neurotic with
a handy back-catalogue of embarrassment,
disappointment and pain to draw on.
Is it nice, being paid to write novels?
A. Yes. It's lovely.
How do I get a publishing deal?
A. You write something only
you could write, something you feel
has to be written. You put everything
you have into it. You put it before
all else. You send the first three
chapters and a snazzy one or two page
synopsis (try and make it read like
a back cover) to a relevant, reputable
agency. Sound confident but not arrogant
in your cover letter, and only give
them the info that will help them
sell the book. If they want to see
more, have it ready. Then you pray.
Q . Do you have time to read
this extract of my unpublished novel?
A. Maybe. Maybe not. It's
nothing personal, but if I'm in full
writing mode, I might not have time.
And even if I do have time, and I
do like it, you'd really be better
off sending it to an agent. Or Stephen
King. Or Margaret Atwood. Or someone
who sells a lot more books than me.
Do you answer all your emails?
A.Yes. I'm a bit disorganised
and get quite a few nowadays, but
I try and reply to everyone. Unless
you've sent me something nasty, in
which case I'll be ignoring you.
Do you want to invest in some Insurance
Cheap weekend deals to Barcelona?
A. Really, I'm fine.
What about the chance to win a holiday
to Las Vegas?
A. Matt Haig is out of the
office. He will be back at his desk
on the 8th February 2015 to answer
all your enquiries.