Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Next Big Thing

Helen Ellwood has nominated me for The Next Big Thing so here it is.

What is the working title of your next book?
This is the name of a kid's TV talent show. It's supposed to be an amalgamation of 'Youth' and 'Utopia'.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I just wanted to write a kid's book which wasn't about wizards or vampires.

What genre does your book fall under?
Children 11-14 years.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I would like the kids' parts to be taken by unknown actors. If the adults have to be established actors then I think the main baddie could be taken by a chap called George Costigan. He played Bob in the film Rita, Sue and Bob Too and he's been in loads of other stuff. I used to know him when he lived near me.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A bunch of kids who don't know each other are thrown together and must join forces to overcome an evil scientist.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
Agency is the preferred route.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Can't remember. Probably about 3-4 months.

What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
It's sort of a modern-day Famous Five. (Except there are seven kids in it - and no dogs).

Who or what inspired you to write the book?
Just got fed up hearing about all this Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings crap and wanted to write something that could actually happen. (Sorry, HP and LOTR fans).

What else about your book might pique the readers' interest?
One of the kids is in a wheelchair. At the end of the book it is revealed that they have all had some form of disability to overcome in their lives.

Anything else?
It's brilliant.

Thanks to Helen for nominating me for The Next Big Thing. I'm now passing it on to Carol.


  1. I think there's a place for an updated Secret Seven type story. Fantasy can be fun, but it's also nice to have characters and situations the reader can believe in.

  2. I used to love those Secret Sevens. Best of luck with your brilliant book!

  3. Thanks, Patsy and Joanne. I wasn't sure if many people remember the Secret Seven. That's why I compared it to the more well-known Famous Five.

  4. I loved reading about the Secret Seven. There's certainly room for such a book with a modern twist.

    And thank you for passing the baton, Keith.

  5. Sounds like a breath of fresh air for young teens to read. Love the title too. Wishing you every success with Youthopia.
    Ange : )

  6. With both my writer & ENCo hats on, well done for writing about children with challenges rather than superpowers or magical talents. I love fantasy but it's not traditionally the most inclusive genre!
    Sounds like a good story :)

  7. Thanks, Alison. I appreciate what you've done on Twitter too.

  8. Great interview. I especially like your "anything else" comment about your book being "brilliant." Good for you! You've dreamt it, and you've done it... I've got my fingers crossed for you also publishing it. Good luck! (I looked at a few of your other posts that I'd missed, and I LOVE bread pudding, too. Especially if it's made with cinnamon raisin bread, and served with a caramel bourbon sauce. YUM!)

  9. Thanks, Susan.
    That sauce sounds good. I'll have to Google the recipe.

  10. Hope it goes well, Keith. With all your work in schools, you should really know what makes kids tick!

  11. Thanks, Sally.
    I know a bit about kids. I used to be one.