I met Felicity, Road Dahl’s widow at the naming ceremony for Roald Dhal Plass in Cardiff. It was neither the time or place but I would have really liked to ask her about his writing routine. As I don’t have a routine I am intrigued at his discipline.
His writing place was a green shed at the bottom of the garden where he would sit in a green armchair, writing with a specially made wooden board on his knees. He would always write from ten in the morning until noon, then take a break and write again from four to six in the afternoon.
When he was living in America he discovered Ticonderoga pencils and yellow legal paper - and never used anything else from then on. Interestingly, Roald Dahl did not find writing easy and often spent as long as six months on one short story. He would rewrite his work over and over again until he was happy and reading it out loud was an important part of his writing process.
Roald Dahl published 57 books during his writing career. Sixty five years after the publication of his first story, The Gremlins, Dahl's books continue to sell at a rate of over a million copies a year.