First off, Gareth P Jones, author of numerous children's novels.
What do you enjoy about writing for children?
The freedom. Authors who write for adult readers very often end up writing one type of book, but I have written science fiction, gothic, thrillers, funny books and mixtures of all these things. I’ve written about dragon detectives, ninja meerkats, Steampunk pirates, ghosts, werewolves. I love the variety of my job.
What books did you enjoy reading when you were young?
Again, I was never very consistent in terms of genre or loyal in terms of author. I have great affection for fantasy books such as Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea books but I also remember with great fondness the sheer wonderful silliness of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. And then there were all the books that were read to me including Watership Down and Mrs Fisby and the Rats of Nimn.
What do you enjoy reading now?
Recently I’ve made a conscious effort to read books aimed at the same age group as the novels I write and I’ve very much enjoyed Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell and Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead.
As you mentioned, you write in a variety of genres. Do you have a favourite?
Not really, but I do like making myself laugh.
What's your writing schedule like?
In terms of deadlines this year is pretty hectic. In terms of my working day, it’s very flexible. I have no set time of day I work better, no set place to write. I set myself weekly targets and work the hours necessary to meet them.
Have you ever been mistaken for another author, or another Gareth?
No. I chose to insert the P into my writing name so that I wouldn’t be mistaken for any of the many other Gareth Joneses. Since getting published in 2007 though, another Gareth P Jones has started writing kids books, which just shows you how common this name of ours is. I blame our parents. I have brought this up with my mother but she claims she didn’t know I wanted to be an author when she named me.