it's true! the author made up some of these questions

FAQs


Q - What is your favourite colour?

A
- How could anybody have one single favourite colour? Isn't that impossible? I don't really have a favourite anything.



Q
- Okay, but if you had a favourite anything, what would it be?


A
- If it was after seven o'clock in the evening, it would be pizza. Also, in the spirit of absolute honesty, sometimes I do have a favourite flower, and it's a tulip.


Q
- Is it true that there is a cactus somewhere in the illustrations of every book you've ever written?

A
- That used to be true, but something happened and it stopped for a while. Now I think maybe I'll just have cacti in books illustrated by Daniel Egneus in future, because he's the one who accidentally brought them back.

Q - Was there any particular reason for any of this cactus stuff?

A
- Yes. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but it's not a secret.


Q
- Oh, okay. Then, do you like bees?

A
- Absolutely. Bees are both delightful and necessary.



Q
- Do you like ants?


A
- I refer you to my last answer, only substitute ants for where I said bees. And please don't ask me any more questions about insects.



Q
- Okay then. So, do you like… squid? Squid are not insects.


A
- That is true, but since I have never met a squid, I suppose I would have to say that I like them in principle. And please don't ask me any more 'do you like' questions.



Q
- I'll try not to. Do you put people you know in your books?

A
- Perhaps - sometimes - just a little. Mostly I put bits of myself into my books - not actual bits like toenail and hair clippings - but the things about me that I suspect might be a bit silly; or preposterous, or the bits I think are similar in just about all of us.


Q
- How many languages - other than English - have you been published in?

A
- Lots. I haven't counted. But I can tell you that they include Welsh, Japanese and Greek. I'm going to count them one day...


Q
- What was your first book?

A
- I don't have one first book, I have two.


Q
- Because?

A
- A Ladder To The Stars was the first book I wrote that eventually got published. Coral Goes Swimming was my first published book. So I count them both.
 


Q
- Why are the picture strips at the top and bottom of this section to do with trees? Is it significant? Does they have some deep and mysterious meaning?

A
- Not really.



Q
- Could you be a bit more forthcoming
?

A
- Oh, all right then; they are simply bits of pictures that I like. They come from a leaflet called TREES IN EMBROIDERY produced by the Needlework Department Scheme, which was at that time situated at 89, Wellington Street, Glasgow. As for when that time was, I am guessing the late 50s or early 60s. TREES IN EMBROIDERY is Bulletin 36; it went on to tempt the enthusiastic needleworkperson to obtain a copy of Bulletin 37  by offering in that issue, and I quote, 'some ideas for using appliqué'. Any more questions?


Q
- No. Thank you. You have been a bit obstreperous and mildly helpful.

A
- Ha! That's not a question!


Q
- Aaaaarrrgh!
(Runs away, tearing hair.)


Ahem! Do you have an INfrequently asked question you would like to put to Simon?

If so, ask away - your question and (some semblance of) answer may well appear below this very bit of typing! (Note to Simon - it would appear that absolutely is curious about you in anyway whatsoever. Perhaps that's because you've already overshared...?)