A septet of BookBrunch interviews

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It’s been quite a while since I posted, but the good news is that means there are not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN delicious BookBrunch interviews stacked up for you to get your teeth into. Over the last month, I’ve interviewed some really extraordinary folk who have made me laugh and think long after the write ups are finished and the articles are live. Hope you enjoy…

David O’Doherty

“I don’t know much about senses of humour, and I suspect there hasn’t been much done on it, but I’m going to say my sense of humour hasn’t changed very much since I was about 10 or 11.”

Aside from his career as a comedian, O’Doherty is also the writer of hit children’s book series Danger Is Everywhere, the next volume of which, Danger Really Is Everywhere: School of Danger, is due later this month.

Cornelia Funke

“For me the book is a melody, so when I write the first chapter, that is the beginning of the melody and I cannot just shift it to another place. The music falls apart!”

Once dubbed “the JK Rowling of Germany” Cornelia Funke is no ordinary author. Having sold over 20 million copies of her books worldwide, she has forayed into films, apps, self-publishing, and breaking authorial labels. We got together to discuss all this and the UK release of her latest series, Reckless, by Pushkin Press.

David Roche

“The number one lesson I learnt going solo though was learning to say no. My belief is: do what you want to do and you’ll enjoy yourself far more, and if you enjoy yourself you’ll be much better at what you do.”

If you’re at a networking event, the question “where do you work” inevitably comes up. Ask David Roche and you’re in for quite an answer: he’s worked in just about every sector of the industry, from bookselling to marketing, and, most recently, from being Chair of the Board of Advisors here at BookBrunch to becoming an author himself.

Bob McDevitt

“The received wisdom in publishing seems to be that crime writers are generally quite well balanced people because they get to write out all their darkness. They get to explore all their murderous intentions in their fiction, so actually in their lives they tend to be quite pleasant and well-balanced.”

With the crime genre going from strength to strength and literary festival attendances on the rise, Stirling’s annual crime festival Bloody Scotland (9-11 September) seems like the place to be this autumn, and its Interim Director Bob McDevitt is the man of the hour. We discussed new revenue streams for authors, the expanding limits of the genre, why festivals are still important, and what Brexit means for bringing together creatives.

Clare Christian

“One of the main frustrations I found in a bigger publisher, was the time it took to get anything done. In a small publisher, if you decide you want to do something in the morning, by the afternoon it’s happening!”

Clare Christian possesses an eye for innovations that really work. From working on the famous Friday Project to founding Red Door, Christian is a bit of a start-up superstar, as I discovered when we discussed self-publishing, digital publishing and the future of the industry.

Elspeth Graham

“My conversation with Mal has certainly not ended, and I don’t suppose it ever will.”

In March 2015, the renowned Children’s and Young Adult author Mal Peet passed away. He left behind his unfinished last novel, Beck, in the hands of fellow author Meg Rosoff and his wife, Elspeth Graham. Now, 18 months after his death, Beck is being released. I spoke with Graham about the process of finishing the work, defying genre, and her ongoing internal conversation with Peet.

Zillah Bethell

“We are so incredibly spoilt. Yes, we still have very deprived areas of the country here, but compared with other parts of the world, we don’t know how lucky we are. It’s really strange to see what’s available when you’re living in the First World.”

Having published three novels for adults with independent Welsh presses, last year Zillah Bethell was picked up by Piccadilly Press for her first children’s book, Whisper of Horses. We discuss her experiences as a writer, her fascinating childhood and what it’s been like writing her first children’s book.