Children's authors have hit back at comments by Martin Amis in which he said he would need to "have a serious brain injury" before he would consider writing children's literature.
Anthony Horowitz, the Alex Rider series creator, Charlie Higson, author of the Young Bond books and Roger McGough, a children's author for 30 years, have all responded to Amis's outburst on BBC2's Faulks on Fiction, broadcast this week.
"People ask me if I ever thought of writing a children's book," Amis told interviewer Sebastian Faulks. "I say, 'If I had a serious brain injury I might well write a children's book', but otherwise the idea of being conscious of who you're directing the story to is anathema to me, because, in my view, fiction is freedom and any restraints on that are intolerable."
Horowitz said: "If he looked at the talent in children's literature at the moment he might change his mind."
Higson added: "A lot of children's books have endured much longer than adult books."
McGough said. "Children are no less intelligent, they just don't have the same vocabulary, and Amis is brilliant at using a wide vocabulary. Though if I gave him £100 to write a children's book I bet he'd do a good one."