1) Why children’s books? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by
For years, I wrote stuff for grown-ups. And it was all garbage. All that
time, people were saying to me “write for children, you have the mind of
a ten-year-old, you’d be good at it.” In the mid ’90s, I finally took
notice of them and – zap! kapow! – I found my natural habitat. I write
for kids because the stories I enjoy, and the things that make me laugh,
are exactly the same now as they were when I was ten!
2) Is there a children’s author, living or dead, who inspired you
This is probably a strange answer, but Stan Lee and the other Marvel
Comics writers. I used to read the old ’60s and ’70s superhero comic
books that Marvel published, and they always fired my imagination. They
still do. I re-read the old “Doctor Strange” stories recently and loved
every word of them.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future
My most recent book is “You’ve Got To Read This: A Beginner’s Guide To
Great Writers And The History Of Books.” It’s aimed mainly at secondary/
high school students, but it’s suitable for anyone of any age who wants
to find out more about the world of literature and the lives of people
like Dickens, Shakespeare and Austen. The book is being rapidly adopted
as a standard ‘background read’ in schools across the UK, for GCSE courses.
Right now, I’m re-writing something that I’ve been working on, on and
off, for seven years. It’s a creepy Victorian thriller called “The
Frankenstein Inheritance” and it’s completely different to anything I’ve
done before (I’ve never done a full-on horror yarn until now). The cover
of the book is finished but the story isn’t, yet! It should be out later
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get
I was writing for over fifteen years before a publisher accepted one of
my manuscripts. And no agent would take me on until I had a track
record. So, yes, it took perseverance.
5) What’s your opinion about this E-book revolution? Would you consider
the indie route?
Consider it? I embrace it! Seriously, I think indie publishing is the
route the majority of writers will take from now on. The so-called
‘legacy’ publishers will restrict themselves to the mega-sellers and
leave everything else alone. It’s now the only thing that makes economic
At first, I was wary of the whole ebooks thing. I like print! But now I
e-read regularly, I find myself wondering if I’ll ever go back to print
for anything other than the sort of heavily illustrated titles that you
simply can’t do justice to on a screen. Print will always be with us,
there’s no way printed books will die out, but I think ebooks will soon
become the standard format.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use social media a lot
to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to
write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are
I know that all the informed advice is: build a platform, engage with
readers. But… it’s hit and miss at best, and VERY time-consuming.
Unless you’re prepared to blog, tweet, facebook, blog some more, link,
like, poke, skype, tweet again, and then do another blog before the kids
get home, and do it every single day… you might be better off going
back to your desk and writing another book.
Info about the author:
Simon Cheshire is the author of many bestsellers for older children,
including the Saxby Smart detective stories and titles such as “They
Melted His Brain!” and “Totally Unsuitable For Children”. At school, he
was always the quiet kid at the back of the class, and spent a lot of
time staring out of the window, dreaming of faraway places. His first
book appeared in 1997, and since then his books have been published in
many countries around the world, and in several languages. He writes in
a tiny room that used to be a walk-in cupboard, but which is now crammed
with books, letters from readers and empty chocolate bar wrappers. His
hobbies include mending old computers and wishing he had more hobbies.
He lives in Warwick with his wife and children, although he spends most
of his time in a world of his own.
To buy his latest book, simply click on the cover below: