Interview with Jason Offen

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a town called Hessle which is a suburb of Hull. Its actually quite a posh place, although at the time it didn't feel like it. I used to spend a lot of time in an old disused quarry called 'Little Switz', just generally mucking about on bikes, throwing sticks in ponds, or scrambling up rockfaces. In my later teens, I discovered the wonders of crossing the Humber bridge and all that lay on the other side. Clay pits to be precise. A great place for wildlife. So, rain or shine, I used to make the cycle ride over the bridge at least two times a week. But other than that it was a bit boring in Hessle, so perhaps this was the start of frustrated creativeness..
When did you first start writing?
Only recently, in a serious fashion anyway. I've been writing music since I was about 14, and I used to write silly stories for the amusement of my classmates, but I've only considered it over the past because of the need for good stories in the TEFL world.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It was a book that came out of necessity. Russian students at the private school in Syktyvkar in the Komi republic of Russia were being given poor and uninteresting texts to read and work with. I wrote a few stories as an alternative, and the reaction was good. So I thought, why not compile a book of short silly stories?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to let my mind be as stupid or as wild as it chooses to be.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I hate getting out of bed. My brain and body doesnt want to work and I look awful.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was called peter the elephant. Very silly. I have a new version of it in one of my books
What is your writing process?
Put pen to paper and see what happens.
What are you working on next?
Yet another sequel to the arthur books
Describe your desk
Square with four legs.
What do your fans mean to you?
A steady flow of cool air.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Published 2014-09-29.
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