What would it be like to be an ... author?

We asked Angie Sage - who has written the wonderfulAraminta Spook series as well as the Septimus Heap novels - about her career as a successful children’s author.

Angie Sage - in her castle-like home. Do you like the snow Angie?

Why are you interested in spooky stuff?

I think ghosty things are fun to write about and make a good story.

Are any of the characters you’ve written about based on someone you know? If they are, we promise not to tell!

No, not even Aunt Tabby! It is strange, but when I write characters do just appear as if ready-made.

Here's Araminta!

Since you write spooky stories, do you have spooky stuff at home ... anything like Sir Horace's suit of armour?

When I wrote the very first
Araminta I didn’t live in a particularly spooky house or have any spooky stuff. But I have now moved to a very old house, which does look a little spooky from the outside. (See photo!) Inside it doesn’t feel spooky but there are similarities to Araminta’s house, I think. There is even rumoured to be a secret passage to the church next door…

How long does it take to write one of your novels?

Araminta books take me about three months. The Septimus Heap books about a year.

Did you find Jimmy Pickering [the illustrator] or did he find you for the pictures?

My publisher found him. When we were discussing how the books should look, my editor showed me work from three illustrators. Jimmy was one of them and he was perfect.

Araminta lives in a Gothic-style house. I looked that information up on the computer! Have you ever been into a house that looks like the pictures in your books?
I am really interested in houses & architecture; I think Araminta’s house is a mixture of lots of houses I have been to—and then some!

Araminta's home. Is this anything like your house?

Do you use a thesaurus when writing? I like using a thesaurus to find better words.

Sometimes I do, especially if I find I keep using the same word too often. I love looking at the thesaurus and seeing all the wonderful collections of words.

Do you get to choose the type of writing [the font] and design in your novels?

I do get some input about the design (particularly with the
Septimus Heap series). The choice of font is the designer’s choice, but I am really happy with what they have chosen.

In your first novel - 'My Haunted House' - you've written [in the dedication section] it is for Araminta Clibborn. Who is this Araminta and if her name was Sarah or Kate would you have had a different name for Miss Spook?

Araminta Clibborn is my second cousin. It was her name that I “borrowed” for Araminta Spook. But Araminta Spook is not meant to actually be my cousin—so no, I wouldn’t have used another name.

I have read all 5 of your stories and loved them. Are you planning to write any more?

I’m glad you have loved them! I am just starting to write book six now. I haven’t got a title for it yet…

When writing to someone from overseas we like to ask: 'What do you know about Tasmania?' (You're not allowed to research it before writing back!)

Ooh, that’s a tough one...
It’s the island below the bit with Melbourne in it…
Bass Straits …
Tasmanian Devil - lots of teeth & marsupial, I think

Capital is Hobart …
Nice climate …
Sandy beaches …

Thank you Angie for your great replies!

Angie's websites are:

www.aramintaspook.co.uk &

Go and check them out!

Neve thought that Araminta wasn't too keen on the Ghostsitters coming to stay!