Q - What is your favourite colour?
A - How could anybody have one single favourite colour? Isn't that impossible? I don't really have a favourite anything.
Q - Okay, but if you had a favourite anything, what would it be?
A - If it was after seven o'clock in the evening, it would be pizza. Also, in the spirit of absolute honesty, sometimes I do have a favourite flower, and it's a tulip.
Q - Is it true that there is a cactus somewhere in the illustrations of every book you've ever written?
A - As far as I can be sure, that is correct.
Q - Is there any particular reason for this?
A - Yes. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but it's not a secret.
Q - Oh, okay. Then, do you like bees?
A - Absolutely. Bees are both delightful and necessary.
Q - Do you like ants?
A - I refer you to my last answer, only substitute ants for where I said bees. And please don't ask me any more questions about insects.
Q - Okay then. So, do you like… squid? Squid are not insects.
A - That is true, but since I have never met a squid, I suppose I would have to say that I like them in principle. And please don't ask me any more 'do you like' questions.
Q - I'll try not to. Do you put people you know in your books?
A - Perhaps - sometimes - just a little. Mostly I put bits of myself into my books - not actual bits like toenail and hair clippings - but the things about me that I suspect might be a bit silly; or preposterous.
Q - How many languages - other than English - have you been published in?
A - Lots. I haven't counted. But I can tell you that they include Welsh, Japanese and Greek.
Q - What was your first book?
A - I don't have one first book, I have two.
Q - Because?
A - A Ladder To The Stars was the first book I wrote that eventually got published. Coral Goes Swimming was my first published book. So I count them both.
Q - Why are the picture strips at the top and bottom of this section to do with trees? Is it significant? Does they have some deep and mysterious meaning?
A - Not really.
Q - Could you be a bit more forthcoming?
A - Oh, all right then; they are simply bits of pictures that I like. They come from a leaflet called TREES IN EMBROIDERY produced by the Needlework Department Scheme, which was at that time situated at 89, Wellington Street, Glasgow. As for when that time was, I am guessing the late 50s or early 60s. TREES IN EMBROIDERY is Bulletin 36; it went on to tempt the enthusiastic needleworkperson to obtain a copy of Bulletin 37 by offering in that issue, and I quote, 'some ideas for using appliqué'. Any more questions?
Q - No. Thank you. You have been a bit obstreperous and mildly helpful.
A - Ha! That's not a question!
Q - Aaaaarrrgh! (Runs away, tearing hair.)
Ahem! Do you have an INfrequently asked question you would like to put to Simon?
If so, ask away - your question and (some semblance of) answer may well appear below this very bit of typing!