Writing Tips and School Assembly Slips by Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson is one of those rare authors that seemed to burst into children's literature to instant and spectacular success. Her first book, 'The Goldfish Boy' was published in 2017 and quickly became a bestseller that was published all around the world and nominated for a raft of awards including the Carnegie Medal. Her second novel, 'The Light Jar' was published this year to similar acclaim. Read on for her advice on getting started with writing and what she'd be doing if she weren't wowing kids around the world with her thought-provoking yet deeply entertaining reads. Clue: It's not singing.

Barnes Children’s Literature Festival: What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Lisa Thompson: I wrote the start of a book when I was around 10 (about a girl who rescues horses) and found I loved being lost in a world that I was in control of creating – so the first thing I ever wanted to be was an author.  In my teens I wanted to work in film production, something behind the scenes… and then I had a spell of wanting to be a singer (before I realised I wasn’t good enough) but being an author was always niggling away in the back of my mind.

BCLF: What would you be doing if you weren’t an amazing author?

LT: I worked in radio production for many years and I loved it. I’d still be doing that I think.

BCLF: The best thing about what I do is…

LT: …when you get an emotional reaction from a reader. It sounds a bit wrong but when a reader says they’ve cried over one of my books I do a little punch in the air…

BCLF: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

LT: You don’t have to know the ending before you start (or the middle or much of the beginning).

BCLF: And the worst?

LT: Write every day. It feels too much like homework if I do that.

BCLF: My favourite word is …

LT: Perpendicular.

BCLF: My greatest fear is…

LT: Doing a school assembly and my Powerpoint presentation not working.

BCLF: My hidden talent is…

LT: Singing. (Badly. See above answer.)

BCLF: My superpower is…

LT: I have hypermobility so my arms bend round more than they should…

BCLF: Who is your favourite literary villain? 

LT: The aunts Spiker and Sponge in ‘James and the Giant Peach’ are deliciously rotten.

Share this article

Scroll to Top