Can you tell us more about your journey as an author...how long have you been writing etc?I was writing with the intention of being published from the age of about 17 or so. For years, I wrote all sorts of stuff, but it was only after I turned 30, and finally accepted that my emotional age would never exceed 10, that I turned to children's books and at last found my natural habitat. My first book was published in 1997, and since then I've had titles published in various countries around the world, and in several languages.
Nearly all my books are aimed at 8-12 year olds, and are what you might call 'adventure comedies' - there's often a lot of action in them, and loads of jokes and weird characters. All my stuff is very light-hearted and larger-than-life, I'm not an author who writes about 'issues' or gritty realism.
Can you give readers an insight into your books and what they can expect from them?
There's a frantic race to beat a deadline towards the end of "Bottomby" which I had great fun doing. And there's a similar beat-the-clock scenario in "Five Seconds To Doomsday", one of my Saxby Smart mysteries.
What is one of your favourite scenarios from one of your books?
So many! Great writers of the past like P.G.Wodehouse, Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Patrick Hamilton, Richard Yates, and many, many others. Of today's authors, I'm a huge fan of Sarah Waters, David Mitchell, Zadie Smith, Donna Tartt, China Mieville. I read a lot of non-fiction, too, especially history. Honestly, don't get me started on favourite books or I'll drone on and on forever! I've just started work on a book about Great Writers, so look out for that later this year.
When you're not writing, which authors do you read?
One, two, three: wife, son, daughter. Couldn't live without them. Four: umm, am I allowed a vast supply of books? You could build a shelter out of them, maybe? Five: Sunscreen, because I burn very easily. I love sunshine, and hot weather, but I can go from milk bottle to beetroot in about five minutes flat.
If you were on a desert island what are the five most important things you'd take?
Shaun is currently reading Secret of The Skull, and will be reviewing it when he's finished - Thank you Simon!
Here are more books by Simon: