Hello Brian. First of all, tell us how you began your writing career.
I started as a teenager. I used to play the guitar and write songs but it
all sounded pretty dreadful, so one day I put the guitar away and the songs turned into poems. Also a poet from Liverpool, Roger McGough, was a great inspiration.
But why poetry?
I love words and the way that a poem is a snapshot, giving you a brief
glimpse, but a glimpse that is often so powerful that it can stay with you
What sort of books do you write?
A lot of poetry, picture books, books for teachers, and some information books. I also edit anthologies of poetry, choosing poems by other poets along with some of my own.
How long does it take to write a poem?
Anything from five minutes to a year. Some poems arrive very quickly, others demand more encouragement before they reveal themselves.
And how long does it take to write a book?
When I put together a poetry book I’m collecting together poems that I’ve written over the past few years, so the hard work has been done at that stage. If I’m writing a picture book, this can take from an hour or two, to three or four days. A book for teachers can take a couple of months and the story book that I’ve just completed took me about six months.
Where do ideas come from?
Ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. An idea is like a knock on the door. Ignore the knocking and whoever it is goes away. When an idea comes knocking, I can’t afford to ignore it. I grab it quickly before it can escape.
How do you write your poems?
I write on scraps of paper or record them on a Dictaphone. First drafts are written up in my poetry notebook, then transferred to my computer where I can cut and paste and jigsaw the poem until I think it’s right.
What books have you written?
The book that I’m most proud of is Lost Magic: The Very Best of Brian Moses (Macmillan) as it contains my one hundred favourite poems. I’ve also written several books with Roger Stevens including What Are We Fighting For? New Poems About War (Macmillan) and The Waggiest Tails – Poems Written by Dogs (Otter Barry Books) I have picture books such as Dreamer: Saving Our Wild World (Otter Barry Books) and two picture books from Troika –Walking With My Iguana and Dragons’ Wood both illustrated by Ed Boxall. My children’s fiction title Python is also available from Candy Jar Books.
Are you writing anything at the moment?
My wife Anne and I are writing a series of eight picture books for Hachette. I’m also writing another children’s novel, putting together a collection of my newest poems and compiling an anthology of funny poems for Macmillan.
How many schools have you visited?
I’ve made over 3000 school visits since I became a professional writer in 1988.
Wow! You must travel around a lot!
I do. I visit schools and libraries throughout the UK, everywhere from Scotland to the Channel Islands. I also visit International Schools in Europe and have recently presented my poetry and percussion show in Munich, Frankfurt, Brussels, Milan, Geneva, Zurich, Madrid, Cordoba, Paris, Rome, Montreux, Luxembourg, Belfast and Dublin.
Which is the best school that you’ve visited?
The school that I’m working in when I’m asked that question!
Have you got a family?
My wife, Anne, and my two daughters, Karen, who is a professional singer and dance teacher, and Linette who is a fashion designer for ASOS.
Have you got any pets?
A fox red Labrador called Honey. In fact she wrote several of the poems in The Waggiest Tails.
What soccer team do you support?
Tottenham, ever since the great days of the early Sixties when they won 3-1 in the 1961 Cup Final.
It was a pleasure.