When I was a child I used to read books by Gerald Durrell, who founded Jersey Zoo. He had a job collecting animals for zoos and for a long time that is what I wanted to do. Later when I was a teenager I had a fantastic English teacher called Mrs. Stafford. Her enthusiasm made me decide to be a writer.
In terms of sheer writing I might have done most of my work by 11. If you get up at 6:30 or 7 you can get a huge amount done by 11 and have the rest of the day off if you want to, though I have to check my accumulating e-mails. No one ever sends me horrible e-mails. Although some of my books are supposed to be hated, no one ever tells me.