What was it like outplaying over 2,000 kids to win the ‘brainiest child’ title?
Great, but it was not extraordinary. I owe my success to my family and to the fact that I don’t push myself too hard.
What was the competition based on?
The 21 finalists aged eight to 11 were tested in quick-fire rounds such as debating, logic, mental arithmetic, spelling and general knowledge.
You’ve held the Under-12 and Under-10 World Scrabble champion titles. What’s your success mantra?
My house rules are: Don’t slog, but don’t laze. Also, don’t do something you don’t enjoy.
And you’re writing your fifth and sixth novels.
Yes, the fifth book is about a boy who’s blasted into AD 3067 by a time machine disguised as a grandfather clock. The sixth is about twin spies and the world’s biggest diamond unearthed from the ocean bed.
The others are for ‘slightly younger’ readers?
It’s a fantasy series about three kids who befriend creatures from mythical lands.
You love to ‘sniff and lick’ your books?
Books are my worry angels. When I’m low I tend to pluck a favourite novel and unwind.
Your favourite author?
I don’t have one, but if I had to pick one, I would say Eoin Colfer, creator of Artemis Fowl.
What was the article you sent to bbc’s Robert Peston about?
It was an analytical piece on the US economy. I’ve also written on fiscal consolidation, monetary policy, the imf’s review of the UK economy and the EU referendum.
Your other passions?
Scrabble, English language and algebra. I also like playing the piano and drawing.
What’s lined up for the future?
I want to work for Oxford University Press as an etymologist and, of course, become a macroeconomic advisor and strategist.
Edited online: An earlier version of this article mistakenly referred to Chess instead of Scrabble in Q.3