Cheltenham Q & A - Paul Cookson
Waterstones exclusive: Paul Cookson answers our six questions
With over sixty titles to his name, Paul Cookson has sold well over three quarters of a million books since he began work as a poet in 1989, and his poems appear in over two hundred other books. Paul is the official Poet In Residence for the National Football Museum and Poet Laureate for Slade. He is the only poet to win the National Reading Hero Award. Paul is running a series of poetry workshops for primary school students in this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival’s Book IT! programme.
What book do you wish that you had written?
The Stand by Stephen King
Just as your books inspire readers, what authors inspired you to write?
Roger McGough, John Cooper Clark, Stephen King
Once you've had the initial idea for a book, do you create the plot first or do you begin writing straight away, looking to discover the story and characters along the way?
Poems work differently – aometimes it’sa collection of themed Poems – other times it my be a more varied selection. But it’s always the ideas – always follow the ideas and go where they take you.
If you were trapped on a desert island, which two books would you want to have with you and why?
Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series and the Collected Poems of Roger McGough. King – it’s a long, long story and I’d like the time to revisit and get to know the characters again. McGough –so much to learn and enjoy from his poems.
Who else do you wish to see while at the Cheltenham festival?
In an ideal world - John Cooper Clark and Pam Ayres on the same bill, an interview with Stephen King, any performance by Roger McGough, Lee Child… oh, I could go on and on…
What was the last book you read?
The Martian by Andy Wier