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Andrew Norriss

Andrew Norriss

Andrew Norriss was born in Scotland and taught history in a sixth-form college in England for ten years before becoming a full-time writer. Together with Richard Fegen he is the creator and writer of several TV sitcoms, notably The Brittas Empire. He lives in Hampshire.

PLACE AND DATE OF BIRTH:
Dingwall, Scotland; 18 October 1947

FAVOURITE BOOK:
The Narnia stories by C. S. Lewis

MOST TREASURED POSSESSION:
Father's gold pocket-watch

FAVOURITE SONG:
'I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls'

FAVOURITE FILM:
I Know Where I'm Going

When did you start writing?
I was thirty-five years old and I went to a hypnotist to give up smoking. While I was very relaxed, she asked me what I really wanted to do in life. I said I wanted to be a writer (which came as something of a surprise), so I went away and did it. Well, it wasn't quite that simple, but nearly...

Where do you get your ideas?
I think if you sit down long enough with the television off, you're bound to think of something.

Can you give your top three tips to becoming a successful author?
The science fiction writer, Robert Heinlein, said there were only three rules you had to follow to become a successful writer. He guaranteed success if...

1. You write something. (He reckoned this was where 99 per cent of would-be writers tripped up.)
2. You then send it to someone who publishes writing.
3. You keep on doing numbers one and two.

It's cleverer advice than it looks.

What are your hobbies?
My favourite hobby is acting. I belong to an amateur dramatic society that spends vast hours producing very bad outdoor productions of Shakespeare to tiny audiences (mostly our own families) sitting huddled against the wind and rain. And I wouldn't miss it for anything.

If you hadn't been a writer, what do you think you would have been?
Before I was a writer, I was a teacher and thoroughly enjoyed it. I like teachers, and I have a very special regard for those who do it well. I know there are some disasters in the profession, but if you ask any adult about why his life turned out the way it did, most of them will tell you about a teacher that first got them interested or fired up, back when they were young.

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