Sometimes I get emails from readers who’ve chosen one of my books for their school report. They often include a list of questions to include in the report. Here are a few of the most common ones. I thought it might come in useful if your report has to be in tomorrow and you’ve forgotten to contact any authors in advance…

When and where were you born?
I was born in Manchester in 1975.

What books did you read when you were growing up?
I read movie novelisations, Doctor Who tie-in books and comics like Watchmen and Sandman.

Who was your favourite author?
Douglas Adams. I still love reading his books and wish he’d written more.

What did you do before you were an author?
I used to write adverts.

What is your favourite type of character to create?
For action and fantasy, I like ordinary characters forced into extraordinary circumstances. For comedy, I like characters based around contradictions.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Turn off the critical voice inside your head when you’re writing the first draft and turn it back on when you’re redrafting.


  1. Hi Tim, for a book report my daughter has to make i'm looking for your birthday to put in your portfolio. Can you mail it to me at daems_tom@hotmail.com? Thanks a lot !

  2. I'm reading Wimpy Werewolf with my son and I'm curious if Mr Landis is a reference to John Landis, director of American Werewolf In London. I also saw the Back To The Future reference, which started Michael J Fox, who was also Teen Wolf. I'm trying to point out potential homages to my 11 year old.

    1. Well spotted! Naming character after horror directors is an established tradition.