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is the name Gwyneth Jones uses when writing for teenagers. All her books have some kind of fantasy, ghost story, science fiction or horror element. "If I'm going to take the trouble to write a whole book," she says, "It's going to be something that couldn't happen if I didn't invent it." Her other explanation is that she believes in strangeness. The Fearman (a vampire story) won the Children of the Night award. Siberia (a scientific fairytale) was shortlisted for the Teenage Book Trust Prize.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Why do you have two names?
A. Long ago, my publishers didn't like a book I offered them. It was a comedy thriller (called Ally Ally Aster). They asked me to use a different name if I sold it somewhere else. Ann Halam is the name I chose. It's my great-grandmother's name, but I spelled it wrong, it should be Ann Hallam. I thought it would be only for one book, but I've written as Ann Halam and as Gwyneth Jones, alternately, ever since.
Q.How old were you when you had your first book published?
I was twenty four.
Q. Are you afraid of ghosts?
No, but I'm scared of them. I believe that strange things do happen: premonitions, visions, visits from the past. But I don't think actual dead people return. There must be another explanation.
Q. Why do you write horror?
Because I'm scared of so many real things. I get it out of my system by inventing imaginary terrors.
Q. Why do you write science fiction?
Because I started off with fairytales, and science is the magic of the real world. Because the future is where we're all going to live, so we'd better start imagining how to make it work.
Q. Do you prefer your Gwyneth Jones books, or your Ann Halam books?
I like them both.