Stork Twenty Questions – Philip Bell

Philip Bell is a writer, father of two, and indie publisher at Beachy Books. He regularly visits schools and works with children to publish their own books. He’s published several Jack and Boo picture books that inspire children to go out into nature, learn and have fun. Find out more at


1. What is your happiest memory?

I’d like to think I’ve got more happy memories to come that will guzump current happy memories, but it’ll be hard to top the day I met my wife.

2. If you could be a superhero, what kind of superpower you would like to have?

This is where I want to think of something profound and world changing, but instead I’ll say I’d love to have the ability to never step in dog poo ever again.

3. What do you do when you are sad?

I don’t tend to get sad anymore. The closest is anger and panic. My children usually provoke these emotions.

4. Describe yourself in five words.

I am a troubled man.

5. How would your friends describe you?

I hope they’d say I’m funny, intelligent and charming. But I think they’d just say I’m an idiot.

6. What are you proud of?

My children. Oh and my scones.

7. Would you like to go into space?

Not really, because as you well know, in space, nobody can hear you scream.

8. What makes you angry?

See 3. But that’s just brief outbursts – you know, when you find your children have blocked the toilet with loo paper for the billionth time. What really makes me angry is the world seems to be run by people who care only for profit and personal gain. Thankfully there are some who care.

9. If you had six months left to live, how you would spend the time?

I’d probably spend my time fretting about how I’d not achieved all the things I had hoped to achieve or not left my mark on the world, but I think I’d just want to spend my remaining time with my wife, children and family.

10. What are you afraid of?

See 9. Also that anything good I do doesn’t get passed on. It’s nice to think you can help influence people’s attitudes through books. I’m getting serious now. I hope humans can all work out a better way to get on and run things, but they probably won’t.

11. Who did you want to be when you were growing up?

The best ME I could be.

12. What is your favourite drink?

Tea. A good bottle of wine comes a close second.

13. What do you do to remain sane?

Tweet and go for long walks – often, simultaneously.

14. Are you a cat or a dog person?

I used to have cats as a child. I do like some breeds of dogs but we have neither. We have 3 guinea pigs instead. They are far more useful as they mow the lawn.

15. What are books for?

For passing on knowledge, wisdom, education, history, understanding, humour, incite, wonder, enjoyment and the essence of being human. Of course, it all depends what book you read.

16. What are the books that made the biggest impression on you last year?

I have to read a book a month for my book group and it’s like pulling teeth because I’m generally reading a book I wouldn’t have bought. So I’ll plump for reading Winnie the Pooh to my son. He thought he was too old for it but found he loved it. I noticed new levels in  the text. Wonderful.

17. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

I think I’ve found the perfect place to live: The Isle of Wight.

18. Do you remember your dreams, and if yes could you describe one of your dreams?

I’m not a big fan of dreams and I’m glad if I don’t remember them. I find if you’ve woken up in the middle of one you feel rotten and just want to go back to sleep. You hear about people thinking up incredible plotlines for stories in dreams – I never have. The last one I remember was about escaping from some kind of zoo that was structured within the confines of a railway carriage. It was bonkers – actually it sounds like a great idea for children’s story!

19. If you were not doing what you do now, what would be your job?

I’ve done many things and still do. I’ll send you a post card from my private island when I just WRITE for a living!

20. Where are you now?

In my study, in my house, Isle of Wight, Earth.