Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Interview with Simon Cheshire, author of Saxby Smart series and more

Please join me in welcoming Simon Cheshire, who's here to tell us more about his books and his journey as an author.  Welcome Simon!!

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.

Who is your favourite character from your books?
Saxby Smart, my schoolboy private eye, is very much the kid I would like to have been at that age, so I guess there's quite a lot of me in him. I think, though, that if I had to pick a favourite it would be Tom Bland, the hero of "Pants On Fire". He's an obnoxious snob at the start of the story, and therefore enormous fun to write about. He does learn the error of his ways, I should add!

Can you give readers an insight into your books and what they can expect from them?
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.

What is one of your favourite scenarios from one of your books?
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.

When you're not writing, which authors do you read?
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.

If you were on a desert island what are the five most important things you'd take?
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.

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:


Emma Book Angel said...

We have just got the set of Saxby Smart in school would you mind if I printed out your interview to display the books :D :D

Michelle at Clover Hill Book Reviews said...

I'm sure Simon wouldn't mind, and I've no objection. Go right ahead :)