Author Interview: Alex Scarrow

Alex Scarrow, author of the TimeRiders series, answered some questions for The Book Base.

Here are his responses:

What were some of your favourite books when you were a child?

Tintin books, and novels by Stephen King.

Which of your books was the most difficult to write? Why?

Eternal War because it was dealing with the subject of slavery and rascism in a way that was acceptable and palatable.

Which of your characters is most like you?

Liam (from the TimeRiders series). I really need to grow up a bit!

How do you write your books? Do you plot and plan in detail, or do you develop an idea as you are writing?

I plan in great detail. I have all nine books in the series carefully laid out in synopsis. Primarily because I needed to know how it all ends before I could start!

Where do you write your books?

In Starbucks! (I get so lonely writing at home).

Why do you enjoy writing for children?

Because you can push the boundaries of a genre further out. Adult readers seem to be far more conservative in their tastes.

What advice would you give to a young writers to help them to improve their stories?

The biggest tip I can give is this:

Make sure you have an ending in mind before you start. That way your story has a direction of travel to help you pull through.

Check out Alex’s website (which also features his novelist brother, Simon Scarrow), and follow him on Twitter.

Book Blogger Q&A: The Well-Read Wife

The 69th post in the Book Blogger Q&A series features Mandy from The Well-Read Wife.

Here are her responses:

How long have you been a blogger?

I started blogging at The Well-Read Wife in June of 2010. I started my other book blog, Young Adult Smash, in June of this past year.

Approximately, how many books do you read every year?

I’m not sure, because I don’t blog about everything I read. My goal for this year is to read 75 books.

Do you own a Kindle or a Nook (or another electronic book reader), and do you prefer it to reading a traditional book?

I own a Nook, but I prefer reading a physical book. I’ve had a lot of technical issues with my e-reader, but I never have any problems with a good old fashioned book!

What were your favourite books as a child?

My favorite book as a very young child (4 yrs old) was The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, and in elementary school I liked mysteries such as the Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene and Trixie Belden series by Julie Campbell.

If you had to pick one, what’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months? Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters is one of the scariest books I’ve read in recent years. So, if I can only pick one then I’ll go with Bedbugs. I also loved A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness and The Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz.

Who are your three favourite authors?

This is a tough question!

1. Charlaine Harris- She is best known as the author of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries. However, she is quite prolific and has written a number of different series. I have read every book she’s ever written, and I’ve never been disappointed! As far as commercial fiction goes, she is the best. She puts out at least a couple of quality works of fiction each year. She is amazing.

2. Chuck Palahniuk- Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, Diary, and Survivor are some of my favorite books of all time. I got to meet him at a signing at BEA and for me it was like getting to meet one of The Beatles. The man is a God in my book!

3. Sylvia Plath – This might sound very “stereotypical female English major” but The Bell Jar is one of my all time favorites. I also love her poetry. I collect original copies of journals and magazines where her poems first appeared. I am a little obsessed with her…

If I could choose a #4 it would be Ernest Hemingway.

Which book has had the greatest impact on your life?

Uhmmm…. My answer to this question changes depending on my mood. Right now I would have to say The Bell Jar.

Which books are you most eagerly anticipating?

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk. I have an ARC of it, and I’ve been forcing myself not to read it. I know if I read it now I will go ahead and write about it, and I want to post closer to the pub. date.

Which book character is most like you?

In my teen years I was a lot like Lauren from The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis. Currently, I’m probably more like Bridget Jones after she marries Mark Darcy and has a couple of kids.

If you had to invite some book characters round for dinner, who would you choose and why?

  • Marie from Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky. I would really want to give Marie a good talking to about the havoc she wreaked in Bad Marie.
  • Tyler Durden from Fight Club – although he might be a little scary!
  • Sookie Stackhouse – I would want to ask her about life in Bon Temps and why she stayed with that dork Bill for so long.
  • Edward Cullen from Twilight by Stephanie Meyers. Yes, I am one of those nerds that loves Twilight! I would have Edward at the table so I could stare at him. He’s dreamy! haha
  • Haley Joel Osment and Dakota Fanning from Richard Yates by Tao Lin. I would really just like to see them interact with Edward and Sookie. I think it would be funny.

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Try not to let yourself get frustrated. Be patient and keep blogging. You will make friends with other bloggers and develop PR contacts eventually. Believe in yourself…

Which other book blogs do you recommend? There are so many that I love! The following are just a sampling of the blogs I enjoy:
The Book Lady’s Blog
Jenn’s Bookshelves
Beth Fish Reads
The Literate Housewife
Bermuda Onion
Bookslut
The Story Siren
Good Books and Good Wine
Bookalicio.us
CiCi’s Theories
Between The Covers
Pop Culture Junkie
And there are many, many more.

Many thanks to Mandy for taking the time to give some great answers to our questions.

If you haven’t already done so, check out Mandy’s blog and follow her on Twitter.

Book Blogger Q&A: Books Glorious Books

The 68th post in our Book Blogger Q&A series features Maryam from Book Glorious Books.

Here are her responses:

How long have you been a blogger?

I’ve been blogging for about a year and four months now!

Approximately, how many books do you read every year?

Before blogging I never really kept track but this year I have a target of at least 100 books and so far I’m on track.

Do you own a Kindle or a Nook (or another electronic book reader), and do you prefer it to reading a traditional book?

I own a Sony reader but I definitely prefer a traditional book. There’s nothing like the feel of the pages and sitting down with a good book and a nice cup of tea!

What were your favourite books as a child?

I used to adore Roald Dahl, especially Matilda and of course the Harry Potter series – I couldn’t get enough of those!

If you had to pick one, what’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

Definitely The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – someone recommended it and I thought it was fantastic – definitely a must read.

Who are your three favourite authors?

Really? That is probably the most difficult question ever! I love Darren Shan and Kelley Armstrong and the last one would probably be J. K. Rowling.

Which book has had the greatest impact on your life?

So far, Before I Die by Jenny Downham. It was quite a hard book to read but it definitely made me think about how precious the people we love are and how we shouldn’t take life for granted.

Which books are you most eagerly anticipating?

Ooooh, John Green’s next novel The Fault in Our Stars and Rachel Caine’s Working Stiff along with quite a few others.

Which book character is most like you?

I’m not really sure, I mostly recognise something about myself in most of the books I read even if it’s something very simple which is how I know I like the characters in the story – because they’re relatable. If I had to pick though I would say Claire Danvers from the Morganville series by Rachel Caine.

If you had to invite some book characters round for dinner, who would you choose and why?

Patch from Hush, Hush for sure just because he’s so irresistible! Katsa from Graceling because I think she’s such a strong character so that could make for interesting conversation and also Anna and Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss because they are just too cute and of course like a lot of bloggers have already mentioned the aforementioned dinner has to take place in Hogwarts, that is an absolute must!

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

I think mostly not to give up blogging especially when first starting out. If you start blogging do it because you love it and then you’ll find a bigger readership because your personality shines through in the blog. And above all, have fun!!!

Which other book blogs do you recommend?

Definitely The Story Siren which has amazing advice and great reviews and challenges.

Wondrous Reads

Book Chick City

All Things Urban Fantasy.

Thanks to Maryam for answering our questions.

Make sure you check out her great blog and follow her on Twitter.