Q&A with Tamsyn Murray

Tamsyn’s our ‘author in residence’ this month, so we thought we’d get to know her a little better..

Who were your favourite authors when you were a child?

When I was about eight years old, my mum gave me a book called The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner. It was the first fantasy book I’d ever read and I loved it. Set around Alderley Edge in Cheshire, the story is about two children, Colin and Susan, who discover a hidden world of dwarves, wizards and mortal danger. The plot twists and turns relentlessly and features one of the most perilous journeys I’ve ever encountered.

As I grew older, fantasy became one of my favourite genres but the truth was I’d read anything I could get my hands on. I whizzed through all the Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl books, loved the Narnia Chronicles and the Anne of Green Gables series. So I can’t say I had favourites, really; the brilliant library in my home town meant I got to read lots of different authors.

Stunt Bunny is named Harriet Houdini – how did you come up with the name?

I wish I could say I was visited by the ghost of that famous escapologist, Harry Houdini, but the truth is a bit less interesting. One of my rabbits escaped in our back garden and led me a real chase until I caught her. I started thinking about how I could make a story out of it and realised she couldn’t have an everyday, run-of-the-mill name. The moment I came up with Harriet Houdini, I knew it suited the character of a cheeky bunny perfectly and a star was born!

What can we expect next from Harriet?

Harriet is going on tour, with the cast of Superpets: Live! Expect more amazing stunts, more talented pets and a whole lot of sparkles. Stunt Bunny: Tour Troubles will be in the shops in February 2011 – miss it, miss out!

‘My So-called..’ are going to be a trilogy – fab! Tell us more about the books.

My So-Called Afterlife was teen ghost Lucy’s story and introduced us to an afterlife where ghosts can text, party and even snog. My So-Called Haunting picks up the story with fourteen year old Skye, a psychic with a habit for attracting bad boys. Struggling to settle into a new life in London, it’s not long before Skye is sucked into the seedy world of gang culture. Can she put her gift to good use or will it tear her future away?

The next book in the series is what I’m working on right now. I can’t give too much away but it promises to be best yet! And I’m hoping there’ll be more Afterlife books in the future – watch this space!

What do you love most about writing for children and young adults?

The best thing about writing for children and young adults is that it’s such fun! I love be able to take the story wherever I want to, without having to include much boring, everyday stuff. And I can be as silly as I like, because it’s my job :)

Share 3 of your passions with us.

My first great love is writing – obviously! There’s nothing quite like the buzz of getting something down on paper and knowing your readers are going to love it as much as you do.

When I’m not writing, then I’m reading. I always tell people that long before I was a writer, I was a reader and I think it really helped me with my own stories. I’m constantly in awe of other writers’ work and can’t imagine my life without books.

Lastly, I love music and would be very unhappy if someone told me I could never sing again. I trained as a classical soprano and like nothing better than hitting the high notes. Unfortunately for my friends and family, I don’t always reach them!

Thanks, Tamsyn. You can ask Tamsyn anything else you want in our forum this month, so pop over and ask away!