Apologies for the delay in an interview, but boy is this a great interview this time round! Everybody welcome children’s author Alex Scarrow!
1. What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on the next Ellie Quin book.
2. So currently, there is Ellie Quin, and TimeRiders, which are both set in a futuristic world and are based on history (TimeRiders in particular). Do you ever plan on experimenting in another area of fiction, perhaps? Maybe a novel set in the past?
I have also written a number of adult thrillers, some of which take place in the present, some historical. I do have plans for some non-scifi stuff, but that’s quite a way down the road.
3. Where did the idea for both series come from?
Ellie Quin is an idea I’ve had bubbling away in my subconscious for nearly fifteen years. For a long time I’ve wanted to do a ‘chase’ thriller across a madcap universe. TimeRiders has also been in my head for quite a while. A lot of the ideas in this series came from game designs I came up with while I was a games designer.
4. In the TimeRiders series, there are a lot of links to other points in time (some chapters have different dates as the title of a chapter). Does it ever confuse you?
Nope. I do worry sometimes that it might confuse the reader. Occasionally the plots in the TimeRiders series can get quite dense. It amazes me that readers as young as 10-11 actually ‘get’ the books.
5. Why did you choose to write Ellie Quin, and what makes it different from TimeRiders?
Ellie Quin is more freeform than TimeRiders. It’s more of an open, episodic adventure, while TimeRiders is very much a tightly plotted mystery.
6. Did any films/TV shows/books inspire you to write both series? For example, Doctor Who?
TimeRiders gives a nod to quite a few things; Terminator, Back to the Future, and of course Doctor Who. Also to a brilliant comic I used to read (and is still out there every week) called 2000AD.
7. Who is your favourite character in TimeRiders, and is this the person you are the most attached to when you write about them?
Oooh…that’s impossible to answer. Liam, Sal, Maddy and the two support units have become like family to me. I hear their voices in my head all the time. I couldn’t pick out one of them as a favourite.
8. Do you have any writing rituals, and where do you write?
Every day, I put in about 3 hours writing. Usually I’m on tour visiting schools and fit my writing around that. I tend to look for a cafe near by, get myself a coffee and a muffin, plug in my ipod and get my fave playlist up and tap away until I’ve done about 1500 words.
9. Who are your writing inspirations? What inspires you to write?
When I was younger I used to read a lot of work by Stephen King. So, I’d guess he’s had the most influence on how my writing style has turned out. And film directors. I love Stanley Kubrik (Full Metal Jacket, 2001 A SPACE Odyssey) and M Night Shyamalan (Sixth Sense, Unbreakable).
10. What tips would you give to aspiring writers?
I’d say make sure you know how your book is going to end before you start to write it. That way your story will have a direction of travel and you’re far more likely to finish it!
Thanks to Alex for the interview and the images, and thanks to you for reading! For more information about Alex and his books, you can visit his website by clicking here!)