Tony answers your questions

How long does it take to illustrate a Horrid Henry book?
That varies, colour books take about three weeks, black and white take about two. Of course, if there is less than usual text, or the drawings are difficult, it is longer.

Who is your favourite Horrid Henry character?
Miss Battleaxe, she is fun to draw, and I have known so many people like her!

What’s your favourite Horrid Henry story?
Oooh lots of them, although 'The Demon Dinner Lady ' stands out, because it reminds me of the awful dinners at my school.

Do you like writing books as well as illustrating them?
I do like writing, because if I write my own stories, I can leave out all the things I can't draw.

Where do you get your ideas from?
All my ideas come from real life, I NEVER make anything up. For instance, last month, my cat was ill, and I wrote a story about that. When people asked John Lennon where he got his ideas from, he said 'Tesco's!'. There’s some truth in that.

How do you begin drawing a new character?
With the face, yet at the beginning, it is important to think of the clothes.

Who is your favourite writer?
Arnold Bennet and Jeanne Willis.

How many books have you written and / or illustrated?
I don't know, I’ve lost count, and I don't have copies of them all. About a thousand.

What was your first book called?
'Hugo and the Wicked Winter'.

Where do you work?
I often call it my studio, but really it's a spare bedroom. It is in my cottage in Nottinghamshire.

Why did you want to be an illustrator?
It seemed a good thing to do at art school, like painting, but not nearly as messy.