I am delighted to welcome Curtis Jobling to Bookbabblers today, as part of the Haunt: Dead Wrong blog tour.
Please tell us a little about yourself
I’m an author and illustrator, and for many years I worked in animation and film. I’ve been lucky enough to work on Wallace & Gromit and The Wrong Trouser, while designing and creating various children’s shows such as Bob the Builder, Frankenstein’s Cat and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion. As much fun as animation is, my first love has to be writing, specifically for middle grade and young adult audiences. My Wereworld series of fantasy horror novels was published by Penguin in the UK and US, while Haunt: Dead Scared came out to much acclaim last year.
Please tell us about Haunt: Dead Wrong
This is the sequel to Dead Scared, and as before is set in my hometown of Warrington. Our heroes, Will and Dougie, have somehow made it through to the summer holidays, and while their friendship is tested – girlfriends and being a ghost are equally challenging conundrums – the two are still thick as thieves. All seems well, but it’s not long before another murder mystery creeps and slithers into their world. Haunt: Dead Wrong is a darkly comic ghost story, where the chuckles and chills sit side by side one another.
What are you working on now?
Currently writing the first novel for World of Warriors, the new game from Mind Candy (Moshi Monsters). That’ll be published this summer by Penguin. I’ve also written the first novel in a new series of middle grade novels for Penguin in the US, Max Helsing & the Thirteenth Curse. That promises to be an absolute riot, a monster mash of horror, adventure and comedy.
What was your journey to publication like?
After becoming so well known as a fantasy writer, being able to dip into the ‘real’ world (albeit with a ghostly main character) has been really refreshing and energising. It’s a different experience writing Haunt as I don’t have to go through the same world building that fantasy requires. With the first book having been released in 2014 it was straightforward for my publishers, Simon & Schuster, to commission me to write a second book. And if it’s as popular as the first? I’d love to return to Will & Dougie’s world a third time too…
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Just do it! I get lots of enquiries from people saying they’d love to write, have an idea for a book etc but just don’t have the time to write. That, of course, is a nonsense. Everybody can find the time to write – it’s a commitment, though, a sacrifice on one’s social life. If you really want to write, get in the habit of writing each day, try and have a word count target, and before you know it things will get easier for you.
Look out for our review, which is coming soon.