Tuesday, 3 July 2012

An interview.. with Andy Robb! :)

Hey everyone!

Now you may remember the review of the book Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind that I posted recently. (You can find it here if you're interested!) But I was extremely lucky enough to be able to interview the author himself, Mr Andy Robb!

*jumps up and down excitedly*

Thanks Robb, it was an honour to interview you! 

So here's it is, the full interview, in all it's Geeky glory.. Enjoy! :)

Q: How are you?
A: I'm very well, thanks. I'm still riding the wave of excitement at Geekhood being published. I'm not sure how long it'll last, but I intend to get every last drop out of it. It's been a brilliant few months leading up to publication and the response from reviewers and bloggers like yourself has been remarkably humbling. I'm starting to realise there's a lot more to writing a book than just writing a book!

Q: What are you doing at the moment?
A: Well, we're just about to enter the editing phase for Geekhood 2 and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it's going to shape-up. I can't say too much about it, yet - other than we're plumbing new levels of Geekiness. Which, in my eyes, can only be a good thing! There was some research involved, but I'll be able to chat more about that once the release-date approaches. I'm also gently starting on a new book that's not related to Geekhood at all. Which should be interesting! I'm also banging the Geekhood drum as loudly as possible, visiting schools and bookshops, which is a really lovely thing to be able to do. Makes me feel like a proper author!

Q: Brilliant! :) What's you're favourite thing about being a 'proper author'?
I'm not sure I can wear that hat just yet - it feels like I've got a bit more to prove. But I love the writing process and I love that feeling you get when you've chosen just the right words to convey just what you mean. And it's even better when someone else gets it! I also like being able to say "I'm an author" when people ask me what I do. In as loud and as pompous a voice as possible.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?
I don't seem to have a lot, these days. But, when I do, I love to read - primarily YA books or fantasy. I'm a big Lord of the Rings Geek and I read it at least once a year. If I'm not reading, I might be playing with my guitar or painting miniatures. I have a young son who's just discovered Warhammer 40K and it's given me a great excuse to get my brushes out of the attic! (metaphorically speaking: I live on a boat.)

Q: What would you like to achieve in 10 years time?
Peace of mind. I'm one of those itchy-scratchy characters who finds it hard to know just which direction they're going in. Ideally, I'd like to have a stack of novels under my belt and be working on my next one.

Q: If you could go back in time and say something to yourself 10 years ago, what would it be?
That would make me 32. I think I'd tell myself that there were going to be some tough times ahead, but that they'd work out for the best.

Q: Now.. onto the Geekhood questions! What inspired you to write Geekhood?
Geekhood was originally going to be a medieval love-story between a witch-hunter and agirl accused of witchcraft. I pitched it to my agent, who thought that it lacked contemporary appeal. So I went back to the drawing-board and had a think. I started thinking about how useless I was with girls at the age pf 14 and then I ended up thinking about Big Events in my life at that time, which was, primarily, my parents' divorce. In lots of YA books, the point where something bad happens to the lead character is when they discover they have a magical ability or a superpower. I wanted to write something where the lead relies on what I relied on to get through the Tough Stuff: your imagination and your mates. Once I'd decided on that, it seemed to flow. Lots of it is drawn from real-life and there's a lot of me in Archie.

Q: Can you sum up Geekhood in 5 words?
A book that I wrote.

Q: Who is your favourite character from Geekhood, and why?
I think it has to be Archie, because I identify so heavily with him. I was (and still am) a Geek and I developed Huge Crushes on girls and then did nothing about them, because I was so shy or under-confident. And, like Archie, I tended to keep my problems to myself which isn't a great thing to do. It was great writing him, because it helped me put a lot of my past in perspective.

Q: What inspires you when you're writing?
That's a tough one. I think it has to be the theme of the book: if I know what I want the book to 'say', it informs the way my brain works. I hope that there are things for readers to cling to in Geekhood - especially those dealing with Tough Stuff. It also helps having a showbiz background, as I've been creating characters for about 20 years - although they were other people's - in plays and stuff. I think it's helped.

Q: Do you have any rituals when you're writing?
Tea breaks every 20 minutes! And the right music in the background. Geekhood was written to Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Start writing, now - there's no reason not to and who knows where it might lead? And, if an opportunity comes your way - grab it. I only got represented because I happened to bump into an author and bored him to death for half an hour. He gave my manuscript to his agent, we met and it all went from there. Oh - and even if you don't think you're great at English, it doesn't matter: the rules of English were made to be broken. As long as you know what the rules are in the first place, then you know which ones you're breaking.
And, finally, I'd just like to say thanks to you for your support and for taking the time out to interview me!

No problem at all, Andy! thanks so much for taking the time out to be interviewed by little old me! It was both an honour and a pleasure - thank you for your fantastic answers and all the best! :)

Don't forget - you can purchase Geekhood from Amazon: UK here! and Amazon: US here! It's also avaliable from all good retailers! And if you'd like to visit Andy Robb's website, you can find it here!

Thanks again! :)
W-O-W xoxo

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