Saturday 9 April 2011

The Transcript From The Live Twitterview With Liz Kessler

As many of you know I did a live Twitterview with Liz Kessler, the author of the Emily Windsnap and Phillipa Fisher children's books on Thursday. Liz is currently featuring on a blog tour for her new book 'A Year Without Autumn' and stopped by my blog a week ago to feature in The Big Break which you will find here.

The Twitterview went live at 12 noon on Thursday and with the help of lots of Tweeters we enjoyed an hour of Liz's company and got her to answer all our questions. So here as promised, is the interview in full.

@serendipidy101 : Hi Liz, thank you for letting me interview you via Twitter today. Shall I begin with the first question?

@serendipidy101: @PewterWolf13 asks what song best sums up 'A Year Without Autumn?

@lizkesslerbooks :  I love this question! How about 'If I Could Turn Back Time.'

@serendipidy101: An email question up next.

@serendipidy101: Emily B wants to know what inspired you to write The Tale of Emily Windsnap?

@lizkesslerbooks: Nice question Emily B. Well I love the sea, I love boats and mermaids are cool! So that's 3 good inspirations!

@serendipidy101: Blogger question from Petty Witter. Which book do you wish you had written and why?

@lizkesslerbooks: Ooh, good one. The Time Traveller's Wife. Cos it is AMAZING!

@serendipidy101: Another blog question - Kulsama - how did you get the initial idea for A Year Without Autumn?

@lizkesslerbooks: I love time travel - that's why I thought of it first. Then the idea sort of emerged bit by bit.

@serendipidy101: From Kulsama again. How much did the story change from first draft to final draft?

@lizkesslerbooks: HUGELY! My mum read 1st draft and just read the book this week and said it was like a different book!

@serendipidy101: @lovelytreez asks who designed the cover for A Year Without Autumn?

@lizkesslerbooks: Orion chose the designer. I don't know her name! You like? I do!

@serendipidy101: From me *sneaking in there* when will the book be published in the US?

@lizkesslerbooks: A Year Without Autumn is out in the States in November this year :))))

@serendipidy101: Sorry *pushing to the front again* What are you working on next?

@lizkesslerbooks: I'm currently finishing the second time travel book, then it's a 5th Emily Windsnap - YAY!! :)

@serendipidy101: @DarrenDac asks if your life was made into a film, who would play you and why?

@lizkesslerbooks: Crikey. No idea! Someone with mad curly hair! Any suggestions? (Although why would they make a film of my life?!?!)

@serendipidy101: Anyone know who should play Liz in a film?

@serendipidy101: Just had a suggestion of Barbara Streisand!

@lizkesslerbooks: Barbara Streisand!!! Hilarious! She's about 50 years older than me isn't she??

@craftywhoopingdoo: That actress in DR Who at the moment. The one who keeps turning up and used to be in Eastenders.

@lizkesslerbooks: Who's that? Gotta be a closer match than Barbara Streisand!

@serendipidy101: Den's ex wife who killed him in Eastenders!

@lizkesslerbooks: Not having mad Angie from Eastenders playing me! The movie deal is off!!

@serendipidy101: No, the one who killed him, later on.

@craftywhoopidoo: The actress is Alex Kingston :-) plays Riversong in Dr Who.

@serendipidy101:@craftywhoopidoo @Lady_K_Black both just told us its Alex Kingston. You will have to check her out.

@lizkesslerbooks: Thanks! I'll check her out and see if I agree that she's suitable for Liz Kessler: The Movie LOL!

@serendipidy101: @curtweaver asks: Who is your favourite author?

@lizkesslerbooks: I have LOTS of fave writers! At the moment - @jodipicoult for adults and the brand new @APitcherAuthor for kids! :)

@serendipidy101: @Curtweaver wants to know how did you come up with the idea for A Year Without Autumn?

@lizkesslerbooks: I love time travel, and like to think what might happen if you had the chance to go back and do things differently.

@serendipidy101: Another one from @Curtweaver - Do you follow any English football teams? Big fan of yours I think.

@lizkesslerbooks: Not passionately. But if I had to choose, Man Utd. (And very weirdly Man City too, as they were my grandad's team)

@serendipidy101: Just received an anon. one. Do you believe in fate?

@lizkesslerbooks: Hmm, fate...I don't know! I believe in something out there, but as yet I haven't worked out what I call it!

@serendipidy101:  Was there a book/film/childhood experience that prompted your love of mermaids and inspired Emily Windsnap?

@lizkesslerbooks: The fact that I grew up near the seaside may have something to do with it. and my dad was mad about boats (as I am!)

@serendipidy101: @craftywhoopidoo wants to know if you get any say in your cover design or the illustrations?

@lizkesslerbooks: I do get my say on covers thank goodness.Orion are very lovely at taking on board each nitpicky thing I ask for!

@serendipidy101: An FB fan ChloeC. Why didn't your 5th grade teacher believe you wrote the Jinx's Shop poem?

@lizkesslerbooks: Hi Chloe! My teacher didn't think I'd written Jinx's Shop because he said it was too good for me!

@serendipidy101: Shame on your teacher!

@lizkesslerbooks: Yeah, but you can't blame him too much. I was quite naughty as a child!

@lathersoapco: Good Morning from US, waiting for coffee! Any plans to attend the US Nat Book festival again?

@lizkesslerbooks: I'd LOVE to come to the US Nat book festival again! Hint hint @Candlewick!!

@lizkesslerbooks: The US Nat book festival was one of the absolute highlights of my career to date, no question!

@serendipidy101: FB LoriS; What led you to write A Year Without Autumn?

@lizkesslerbooks: Loris, I wrote Autumn cos I love the idea of time slip and thinking what we would do differently if we cou

@serendipidy101: FB JudyR. wants to know how long it took to write 'A Year Without Autumn?

@lizkesslerbooks: It took a long time! Altogether, maybe about a year and a half - but I started it six years ago!!

@serendipidy101: Also wants to know how you organise your writing process? How many drafts?

@lizkesslerbooks: JudyR, I plan and plan and plan. And once I know exactly what's going to happen in my book, I start writing it!!

@serendipidy101: My favourite question coming up.

@serendipidy101: From FB Amina if your having a bad writing day, do you change into your lucky underpants? LOL

@lizkesslerbooks: Err...Amina, I can't say I particularly have any lucky underwear! (I often write in PJs though if that helps?)

@serendipidy101: And your crown. Don't forget you write in your crown too. LOL

@serendipidy101: Are your stories the end results of ideas you had as a child? From FBHeatherBS.

@lizkesslerbooks: Heather BS My stories aren't consciously to do with my life but I know bits of real life does come into them!

@serendipidy101: *sneaking one in again* What is your favourite dystopian novel?

@lizkesslerbooks: Ooh, I do love a good dystopian novel. At the moment it'd have to be the first Hunger Games book.

@lathersoapco: Daughter leaving for 6th grade bus. Who was your favourite character to write or most like you?

@lizkesslerbooks: Most like me is Emily Windsnap. Most fun to write - Mystic Millie or Mr Beeston. Or Neptune cos he SHOUTS A LOT!

@serendipidy101: FBSaraT asks what is the most adventurous and/or gross thing you have ever eaten?

@lizkesslerbooks: SaraT I tried a tiny bite of lobster. That's about as adventurous as my eating gets! (I'm a very boring eater.)

@cloverness: Who's your favourite fictional character?

@lizkesslerbooks: Ooh. Of mine or someone else's? (She asks, buying time as it's a tricky question!!)

@serendipidy101:Yours I think

@cloverness: Oh, definitely both!

@lizkesslerbooks: @cloverness OK mine - I love them all - they're my babies!! Someone else's - the whole cast of the Phantom Tollbooth!

@serendipidy101: FBJodyDS asks how did you research all the different fish in the Emily Windsnap books?

@lizkesslerbooks: Doing lots of snorkelling and watching lots of underwater documentaries!

@serendipidy101: FBAmyNS asks what is your favourite book that you have written?

@lizkesslerbooks: Amy NS - my favourite of my own books at the moment is definitely A Year Without Autumn! :)

@serendipidy101: *sneaky me* If you could be any other author dead or alive, who would you be?

@lizkesslerbooks: If I could be any author, I'd be.......ME! :)))

@CazApr1: Would you consider writing a YA time travel book?

@lizkesslerbooks:  @CazApr1: I might well do a YA time travel book at some point. Who knows! I'd quite like to!

@cloverness: Did you have a role model growing up?

@lizkesslerbooks: I had a wonderful English teacher who changed my life and made me want to work hard! (But not till I was 16!)

@coletteO3: How do you deal with writer's block?

@lizkesslerbooks: @colette03: I don't really use the term writer's block. I just think that sometimes it's hard - but so is any other job!

@serendipidy101: One final question to wrap up the interview.

@serendipidy101: FBElizabethGF - What inspires you to be a writer?

@lizkesslerbooks: ElizabethGF I think being a writer is just part of who I am. Writing makes me feel alive and wonderful! :)

@lizkesslerbooks: Nice question to end on by the way!

@serendipidy101: Thank you Liz for such excellent answers.

@serendipidy101: Thankyou to everyone who sent in questions and who joined in the interview.

@lizkesslerbooks: Thank you to everyone who sent all those fabulous questions and especially to @serendipidy101 for being such a brill twitterviewer!!

I hope you all enjoyed that! Liz and I both agreed that the hour went very quickly. 

Liz Kessler will be picking out the three winners with the best questions soon. I will announce the winners as soon as she does and the lovely staff at Orion will send out three signed copies of Liz Kessler's new book 'A Year Without Autumn'.

Thanks for joining in the fun.


  1. This is a brilliant interview! I loved reading it. Thank you.

  2. This was an awesome interview it was great to read live. You did amazingly well x

  3. i'm so sorry to have missed this twitter interview but it's great that you posted the transcript here! congrats on such a successful and FUN interview. any other ones on the horizon??

  4. I wish I hadn't missed the live version. It would have been good to see. Really enjoyed reading the transcript. A Twitter interview is such a great idea!

  5. Luisa - thank you!

    Susan - thank you. It was hard work but worth it.

    Nat - I don't think so.It was a lot harder than I had anticipated.

    The Slowest Bookworm - it is a good idea, but can't say it was my idea. EdFest did one with Marcus Sedgwick and Orion first.

  6. What fun! The energy and immediacy of the interview come through. Thank you for posting this, Vivienne. As you know I am not on Twitter. A Year Without Autumn sounds like a terrific book, and I am glad it will come to the U.S..

  7. Viv - you are a STAR! You put so much work into this, and I have to say you made it very easy and an absolute delight for me! Thank you!!! xxx

  8. Thanks for posting this! I knew you were doing the interview on twitter but wasn't really around much that day, so it's great to read the transcript here. Liz sounds fabulous, and I love that if she could be any other author she'd be herself. Good choice!

  9. I literally ran... OK, speed walked home from the nursery to catch this. Really enjoyed it Viv :)

  10. Well done on such an interesting interiew. I was so disappointed that I didn't get to read it on Saturday (computer problems) let alone take part on Twitter - still better late than never.

  11. This is too cool! I haven't seen or participated in a twitterview before but just loved this. Will be looking for Liz's book once it arrives over here in the States.

  12. Nice interview ladies...A Year Without Autumn sounds like a great read! Ive heard such great things about The Hunger Games, I'll have to read that one soon.

  13. I can't believe it's been so long since I've read your blog! Were the the three winners announced already? Or do I have to keep reading to find out..?


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