Q&A with Simon Cheshire

Today we hear from Saxby Smart author, Simon Cheshire. We did hear from Saxby a few weeks ago – just click here to read his post.

Which books did you love when you were a child?

I think if I had to pick just one, it would be Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’. I read a lot of science fiction: if it had spaceships in it, I read it. And I loved Marvel Comics, too. The Spider-Man comics of the ’60s are still my favourites.

Your characters are often spies, detectives and crime busters – how do you think up the storylines?

There’s a quote from George Orwell on my website, about how writing a book can feel like a long bout of a painful illness. I know exactly what he meant. Each of the eight Saxby Smart books has been harder to write than the last. Storylines kind of evolve out of a weird mental soup, if that makes any sense at all!

If you had to choose, which of your characters would be your favourite and why?

I suppose it would have to be Saxby Smart, he’s sort of the kid I wish I’d been at that age. I was always the quiet kid at the back of the class who never spoke up, but Saxby is very self-confident. I guess he’s my alter ego. But there’s a character called Tom Bland, who appeared briefly in one of the Saxby stories, who’s getting his own book soon called “Pants On Fire”. I absolutely love Tom Bland – he’s a horrible snob, and totally self-deluded, and he’s a joy to write about. “Pants On Fire” is the funniest thing I’ve ever written, I think. It’ll be out in the next month or two.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m just putting the finishing touches to “Saxby Smart’s Detective Handbook”, which is a non-fiction title all about the world of real-life crime and detection. That’ll be published in October.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Being able to live in a world of your own, most of the time. Real life is over-rated, I prefer to retreat from it as much as possible. Of course, that’s also the worst thing about being a writer. You can drive yourself batty. I fell off the cliff into madness many years ago.

And finally, if you could be any fictional character, who would you be?

Doctor Who. Last time they re-cast that role on TV, they missed me off the shortlist AGAIN! What are they PLAYING at?

Thanks, Simon. You can find out more by visiting Simon’s website here.