The final book in your Who Let the Gods Out series has just been released. What has the journey been like for you as an author?
Hi - thanks for having me! It's been extraordinary. My expectations were that I would sell about three copies and two would be to my mum. I don't think, in truth, many authors enjoy their first year. It's terrifying, rather like having a baby - it's exciting and wonderful, but also rather sleepless and messy! But now I'm loving it - and feel very privileged to have the opportunity to do it.
How has Elliot changed over the course of the series?
Well the poor boy has had a lot of growing up to do, thanks to the merciless author who has put him through hell. I think the biggest lesson he has learned is to let people in. When we first meet him, he is terribly isolated, as so many young carers sadly are. I love Elliot very much - it was hard to let him go at the end of Against All Gods.
You're also a stage writer - how different is your writing process for stage, compared to when you're writing novels?
The planning is much the same - copious notes and synopsis until I know roughly what I'm doing. The writing obviously takes different forms - in prose you have the freedom to go anywhere and do anything, but need to describe everything. When writing dialogue, you have less of a mountain to climb, but are restricted by the realities of what can be achieved on stage. I enjoy both equally - especially when I'm doing the other!
Stories based on myths have always been popular, but modern, funny takes on myths seem to be in a bit of a golden age at the moment. Why do you think this is?
I don't think they've ever not had a golden age - although funny is (fortunately for me!) in vogue at the moment. The stories are so timeless, so relatable that they will keep on coming round and around. When parents and teachers tell me that my books have encouraged their kids to go out and seek Greek myths, I am so happy. I have loved them ever since I was a child and am happy to pay that forward.
Your website emphasises that creative writing is something everyone can do. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I wish I had something glamorous to say, but the truth is, there are no shortcuts. It's like getting fit - if you want to achieve your goal, you just have to put the hours in, regardless of whether you feel like it or not. I meet many writers who get hung up on writing and editing their first few chapters. Don't get it right, get it written. The first draft is shovelling sand. The editing is building the sandcastle.
With the Who Let The Gods Out series finished, what's next?
Well now... I can't say much at the moment, but I have two more books coming with Chicken House, so watch this space. I am also making my first attempt at a novel for adults, so that should keep me out of trouble for five minutes. Well - four, certainly...