Today I have the pleasure of giving you my interview with the very lovely and very talented Jack Croxall, all about his book Tethers, which has now been released on paperback.
1. Where did the inspiration for Tethers come from?
Well, the first thing that happened was that I had a picture in my head of a Victorian boy excited by something he had seen in an old man’s house. I started writing with nothing but that in mind because I wanted to know what that something was, and why it intrigued the boy so much. The whole story just escalated from there!
2. What was your writing process/schedule?
I try and treat writing like any normal job really; working with little breaks to eat, chat to other bookish-types via twitter, facebook etc (an important aspect of marketing your books), and to walk my puppy-dog, Archie of course!
3. Did you ever suffer with “writers block”?
Thankfully, I haven’t so far!
4. The book is based in the Victorian Era, how did you go about doing research for this?
Using the internet and a few Victorian history books my family just happened to own, I spent hours upon hours studying Victorian life! And I must say it was fascinating, not a chore in the slightest!
5. Karl is the main character and he and Esther become partners in crime. For me, Esther outshines Karl slightly, was this intentional?
Absolutely. Whilst she’s not perfect, Esther is an amazing person, both in terms of her skill set (which she continually develops throughout the book) and her personality. Karl is in awe of her, although he’s not quite old enough to realise it just yet, and with the book being told from his perspective, Esther naturally comes across in an extremely positive light. I like Karl a lot though; he has some great qualities, they’re just a bit more subtle than Esther’s.
6. What did you edit out of the book?
The villain of the piece, Mr Dufor, was originally going to cross paths with Karl and Esther a lot earlier than he does in the finished version of the book. That changed when I realised Dufor was in command of a group of nefarious subordinates, subordinates he unleashes to hunt down the novel’s central group on his behalf.
7. The paperback is now out and half of the proceeds are going to ME Research, an amazing thing to do, what is your reason behind that?
In 2010 I was diagnosed with ME/CFS and subsequently found myself housebound for a number of months – that’s when I wrote Tethers. I was fortunate to have my health gradually improve over the course of those two years, but, sadly, other people are not so lucky. I’m donating half of the paperback’s royalties to ME Research UK because they are funding biomedical research into ME/CFS, with a view to developing treatment and maybe even finding a cure for this terrible illness. I have also written a letter to readers at the start of the book which I hope might help raise awareness – it’s my firm belief that more people need to know about ME and CFS.
8. Being a YA author, if you could sit any young adult down and make them read a book (other than yours) what would you choose?
I fell in love with the genre through Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, so I’d probably make them read that!
9. What can we expect next from you?
I’m currently working on the second Tethers book, and I’m absolutely loving being back with my characters!
Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie. He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and currently toils away as a science writer in between working on his books.
To buy the book;
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/WRf4vI