For the Papers Pens Poets blog in 2017, I interviewed Ali Sparkes about her love of stationery.
She told me:
“When it comes to high-speed book signing for 200 hyped up Year 6s, nothing beats my trusty Pentel Energel. It’s very fast and smooth and doesn’t smudge UNLESS you try to use it on any kind of shiny paper. Then it’s flippin’ useless because it smears like 1960s mascara in a sauna.”
Ali explained that she orders the refills in bulk and was ecstatic when she discovered they made coloured refills too. For her book Thunderstruck, she needed green or purple ink because there was no clear white space for her signature, so it was difficult to see her usual black ink against it.
Like me, Ali Sparkes has a shelf of notebooks that are too nice to use.
She prefers narrow feint and avoids spiral bound. She has a weakness for Fabriano A4 pads in her favourite colours of lime green, orange and purple. Ali revealed she love the simple coloured cardboard covers and stapled-in pages which don’t rip away and fall apart when you give them a hard stare. She told me that although they are quite pricey in shops there are some good deals online.
Another stationery favourite for Ali is sticky notes.
“I have to have those little stick-in tabs for when I’m line editing a paper manuscript. By the time I’m done my manuscript looks a little like a groovy 1970s handbag with a multi-coloured fringe.”
You can read the full interview on the Papers Pens Poets blog.