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Elevenses with… Zoë Armstrong

Good morning! Today I’m sharing some very sticky lemon drizzle cake with Zoë Armstrong, author of Find The Spy

What is the first thing you remember writing? 

When I was about eight years old, I wrote a poem about a witch called Grezelda – and I still have it! My clever mum has kept it safe for all of these years. I’ll show you, if you like…

So, Zoë, what location from a story would you love to visit?

I think about Narnia a lot. You know, the magical land in the book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, by C S Lewis? Sometimes, when I walk through woods or find a grassy clearing that smells all fresh and green, I imagine that I’ve stumbled out from the back of the wardrobe. One day I hope to bump into a faun or a unicorn or a great lion called Aslan. I’ll definitely run away if I hear The White Witch coming though!  

I’ve met a few lions on my travels- not Aslan though! Next question: Which character from a book would you most like to meet in person? 

It would be really fun to hang out with Hilda from Luke Pearson’s comic book series. My daughter is a huge fan and I’m sure they’d have some amazing adventures together, meeting trolls and giants and invisible elves. Hilda is much braver than I am, so maybe some of that would rub off on me!

I hope you get to meet her one day! From whom would you most like to receive a letter?

Hmmm. Well, there was a writer and illustrator called Arnold Lobel – he wrote the Frog and Toad stories – and I think he was pretty amazing. It would be great to receive a letter from him to inspire me with my own stories. He was clever at keeping things very simple, but he packed his words full of meaning. I’d love to learn a bit more from him. 

Do you have any tips for budding writers?

Be brave when you write. Don’t worry about making mistakes – just get your ideas down on the page while they are fizzing in your mind. Then afterwards you can go back and make your story flow nicely. You might choose some more colourful words or shuffle things around a bit. It’s kind of like moulding a lump of rough clay into something beautiful.

What is your next book about?

I’m working on a series of books about animals, which I’m really excited about. It’s all a bit top-secret at the moment, but I promise to tell you more when I’m allowed to!  

Last question: What is the silliest word you can think of? 

Scrumplebottyflubbinge. I just made it up. I bet you can think of some really silly ones too! 

Thanks, Zoë! Would you like another slice of cake?

I sure would! Thank you. Nice talking to you, Banjo.

Find out more about Zoë Armstrong here.

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