How long have you been writing?
I always enjoyed creative writing at school, but did very little afterwards, until I started occasional scribblings in 1987. After that scuba diving took up too much of my time for a long time, but I have been writing seriously (sort of!) for 15 years.
Where do you get your ideas from?
Ideas can come from anywhere so I am always on the lookout – writers often say that everything is material. I get many of mine ideas from current events and trends and from real life, though I change and exaggerate things for effect.
Do you have any hobbies?
Bird watching and guitar playing. I used to spend far too much time scuba diving, though it was tremendous fun.
What is your favourite TV programme?
Recently it’s been Vikings. In the past, Fawlty Towers.
What type of music do you like?
I like a broad range of music including Rock, Folk, Soul, Classical, Blues, Reggae.
Do you have any children?
No. I do have nieces and nephews and a great-niece and great-nephews.
What’s your favourite place?
The Maldives – beautiful, great food and superb scuba diving.
Do you have any pets?
Not at the moment, though I like animals and might get a cat or dog. In the past I have had many different pets: cats, dogs, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pig, budgerigar, terrapin, stick insects, goldfish and other fish. I also kept a baby frog nursery for a while.
What is your favourite animal?
Most of them. I particularly love birds, and find sharks and rays fascinating,
What is your favourite book?
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame – it always cheers me up.
Who is your favourite author?
That’s a difficult one; there have been many authors whose novels I’ve enjoyed. Picking one, I’d say Terry Pratchett.
Where do you live?
In Cirencester, a small market town in the Cotswolds, a range of rolling hills in the southern central part of England.
Did you like school?
Some of it. The best part was having great friends there.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Who was your favourite teacher?
I’m not sure I had one.
Where do you go to write?
I have a small, scruffy office upstairs. It has a large poster of the text of The Wind in the Willows, a small silhouette of Sherlock Holmes and a Rupert the Bear stuffed toy (a present from my sister). I also have a stuffed toy shark – the one from Finding Nemo (a present from my old office when I left to start writing).
What were your favourite books as a child?
Anything – I was a voracious reader.
What is the first thing you remember writing?
A story about a hamster in space when I was about eight,
What other jobs have you done?
Warehouseman, civil servant.
What is your favourite story about animals?
Possibly The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford.
If you’d like to know the answer to another question enter it on the contact form for Wilkie to answer – although, depending upon the question (and the answer!), it may not be added to the website.