Children's LitFest: million-selling children's author David Baddiel answers questions from a young fanDavid Baddiel is 55. He is a comedian, novelist, television presenter and the author of some very popular children's books. And it is in that latter guise that he is coming to the tenth Marlborough LitFest - details are below and there are still some tickets left.
You do not have to look too far on the internet to find David Baddiel described as 'the million copy best-selling children's author' - and he has lots of very loyal fans.
Georgie is 11. She has just started secondary school - at St John's Academy. She is a David Baddiel fan. She likes his books because they are funny and because they make you think about how your life could change.
Marlborough.news asked Georgie to put some questions to David Baddiel. This is how their exchange went - via email:
DB: Hello Georgie. Thanks for asking these questions. Hope you like the answers!
G: Would you call your books a series or not, because they are all set at the same school?
DB: It’s not a series. Simon Pegg - name drop but there we are, his kids read my books - described the books as all being set in 'The Baddiel-verse'.
Editor interrupts: That then is '-verse' as in 'universe' and not '-verse' as in poetry...Got that. Carry on Georgie!
G: Do you base your characters' back stories on real life situations that you know?
DB: Some of them. For example, in my new book, The Taylor Turbochaser, the main character’s 14 year-old brother is entirely based on my 14 year-old son.
G: When you were little did you want to be an author, a comedian or something else?
DB: No, I wanted to be a footballer. I still do.
G: How often do your family give you book ideas?
DB: Quite often - my son when he was 8 said “why doesn’t Harry Potter run away from the Dursleys and find some better parents” and that gave me the idea for The Parent Agency.
G: Do you have set times of the day and a place where you write like Roald Dahl?
DB: Kind of. I write in my study, and I write most days, but unlike Roald, I get distracted a lot by something he didn’t have to contend with called the internet.
G: What do you hope that readers get from your books?
DB: Laughs, good stories, and somewhere in them there’s usually a message, although it’s quite hidden and I myself often can’t find it.
Editor: Sorry - time's up. Thank you David and thank you Georgie.
David Baddiel most recent book is Head Kid - which tells the hilarious story of how the naughtiest boy in the school swapped bodies with his ultra-strict headmaster.
But he will be talking at LitFest about his next book The Taylor Turbochaser. Today (Thursday, September 19) he had his 'first meeting' with his newest children's book - he sat down to sign 5,000 copies of The Taylor Turbochaser. It will be published on 17 October.
The David Baddiel event will be in the Memorial Hall at the College on Sunday, 29 September at 3pm - it will be suitable for nine year-olds and upwards.
Tickets are £5 and there are still a few left - so hurry to make sure you get the tickets you need. You can buy them: Online: www.marlboroughlitfest.org (no booking fee, postage £1.75 if required). Telephone: 0333 666 3366 Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm (through TicketSource £1.75 booking fee - plus postage if required). In person: at The White Horse Bookshop, Marlborough, Mon-Sat 9am-5.30pm, Sun 11am-4pm (cash/cheque only).
There are details of all the Children's LitFest dates and times - and the out-reach events - here.