Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Interview with Children’s Fantasy Writer, Kurt Chambers

I’ve been thinking about interviewing Kurt, a good friend of mine who happens to be a wonderful writer and my critique partner, since a long time.  The problem is, I know him too well and I couldn’t think of any good questions to ask.  So I turned to my youngest daughter Tara for help.  

Being in Kurt’s target age group, Tara enjoyed reading his books (and bugging him to write new chapters), and took great pleasure in coming up with awesome questions.  

I hope you enjoy reading her very first interview as much as I did. She sounds very professional for a nine-year-old interviewer, doesn’t she? 

Oh, and let me know if you need me to translate Kurt's British expressions.

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Hi, Kurt.  I read your books and I think they are great. I would publish them if I could, but I have some questions that I want you to answer.

That is very kind of you, Tara. :) I'm so glad you enjoyed reading them. I'll try and get some more written for you to read.

Why did you start writing?

I always fancied the idea of writing my own book. I used to struggle with reading as a child, but loved reading fantasy books like Lord of the Rings. I thought it would be great if someone wrote a book like this, but that was aimed at children like me to make it easier to read. I kept this idea in my head for years and years, but never put in into practice until I reached my mid 30s. Working with children inspired me to start writing. That's how Truth Teller was created, an idea I had from way back in my childhood.

I hope you get published some day.

Thanks! You need to become a publishing agent for me. Haha!!

How did you get your ideas for books?

All the books I've written so far have kind of started the same way. I think of a good opening hook to start the story with, then a rough story line of what I want to happen in the story. Finally, I picture the final scene on how I want it to end. Then I just start writing and make it up as I go along. Each chapter I write gives me new ideas on how the story will pan out, and my characters play a major role in this. Who knows what they will do next?

If you had one million dollars, what would you do with it?

If only! LOL With a million dollars, I could retire. I would use the money so I never had to work on a building site ever again. I wouldn't waste it on a big house of a flash car. I'd be quite happy to live the way I do now, but have the option to stay at home and do the things I enjoy, like writing more books. :)

I would buy a mansion or a big house. 

Haha!! Go you! Don't forget you would have to clean it! :D

If you wrote a fifth book, what would you name it?

Interesting question! I have been considering a new book called TEDDY. That's the working title I have so far. It's about a youngster who saves a teddy bear that used to belong to their dad from the loft, only to discover the teddy can talk! I think all kids would have loved to be able to talk to their teddy. I'm just thinking of ideas on what adventures they can go on together. The main theme of the story will be about growing up and not believing in things anymore.

If you write it, I want to read it! It sounds interesting.

Of course! I'll make sure your mum gives you a copy. :)

What is your favorite color?

Well, it's not pink, contrary to what your mum might have told you. LOL Close, though. I seem to be attracted to purple for some strange reason, don't ask me why.

Me too.  Purple is one of my favorite colors.

Really? Only cool people like purple. LOL

What is your favorite book you wrote and why?

That is a very difficult question. I love all my books for different reasons. If I had to choose one, it would have to be THE WRATH OF SIREN, the second book in my Truth Teller series. I love characters in this story, and all the action. This series has always meant a lot to me. Some parts still make me cry when I read them. Haha!! I know, I'm a big girl. :D

How would you describe yourself?

Haha!! That's a great question to ask an egomaniac! I like to think of myself as a jolly person (most of the time). I'm incredibly childish and like to laugh at everything. I'm very honest, too honest for my own good. I always say the first thing that pops into my head without thinking about it. That often gets me into trouble. I try my hardest to be kind, and get a lot of pleasure in helping people whenever I can. I pride myself on being as good as I can be. Wow, I make myself sound well good. LOL

You’re just bragging.

:D I did tell you I was an egomaniac.

What hobbies do you have besides writing?

I have had tons of hobbies over the years. Okay, are you ready for this? I played bass guitar since I was about fifteen, and played in quite a few rock bands over the years. I made homebrew wine since I was about twelve years old. I spent a few years building a big telescope which I called Exit. I designed and built my own water rockets and rocket launcher. I rebuilt an old 1958 Lambretta scooter. I love things that fly. I have a selection of kites, a remote control helicopter, and a hot air balloon. I created quite a few websites over the years, and once made my own website business. I built a mini barn conversion in my back garden with an upstairs gallery and a handmade staircase. I used to use it as my office. I have always had green fingers, and like to grow things. I grew a tree in my garden once when I was a child, and climbed it when I was an adult. I thought that was very cool. :) I'm sure there are more things, but I can't quite think of any more off the top of my head.

Wow! That’s a lot!  I have three – riding my bike, making bracelets, and reading.

They are cool hobbies. You'll have to show me your bracelets one day as you've read my books.

Were your characters inspired by real people?

Yes, I think most writers’ characters are somehow indirectly based on the real people they meet in their lives, even if they are fictional characters. All my characters are fictional except one. I based the main character, Charlotte, in my Truth Teller series on a real life person. She was one of my Brownies when I used to help run the Stevenage 17th Brownie pack and was just perfect for the role.

What would change in your life if one of your books got published?

I'm not really sure until it happens. It's not something I've experienced yet. I'd like to think that once I'm published, the publishing industry will take me seriously as a children's author and want to publish all my books. It would be so awesome if I could make enough money so I could write novels for a living. That would make a big change to my life.

What was the most embarrassing moment of your life?

Man! What kind of question is that? LOL I have one such story, though I'm not sure I should tell you this. When I was in junior school, I once got caught for skipping school. I got into a lot of trouble. Schools were very different in my days. The headmistress was an evil woman. She didn't like me one little bit, I don't know why. LOL I ended up being canned as well as being humiliated by this lady as a punishment. I was so upset afterwards that my mum told me I could go home with her. The next day, I was sitting in class when the headmistress came storming in. She made me stand up in front of the whole class while she grilled me in front of everyone as to why I hadn't been back to class after my punishment. She was very intimidating while she stood over me smoking a cigar and blowing smoke in my face. I told her my mum had taken me home because I was upset, but she didn't believe me, and accused me of skipping school again. She wasn't satisfied until she reduced me to tears again in front of the whole class before she stopped screaming in my face. That was probably one on the most embarrassing times of my life. How things have changed since I went to school! LOL These days, that would be classed as child abuse.

Thank you for answering all the questions. The answers were great, especially the last one! I hope I get to interview you again.

Awww, thank you, Tara. This was a great interview and a lot of fun. You're the best! :) 

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To find out more about Kurt:
Visit his website: kurtchambers.net
Read his blog: Genius Bordering Insanity (and don't forget to leave him a comment!)
Sample his short story: The World in Johnny's Back Garden (and while you're there, visit his other Squidoo lenses as well.)
Follow him on Twitter: @emailmanROCKS

18 comments:

Emailman said...

Thank you so much, Tara :) You are the best interviewer ever!!!!

I will have to write another book quick so you can interview me again :)

Jenna Cooper said...

Haha, this was a great interview! I loved it!

Emailman said...

Thank you so much, Jenna :) And thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, much appreciated.

Ralene said...

Great interview, Tara!

Kurt, you never cease to amaze me. :)

Emailman said...

hahaha!!! Should I take that as a complement, Ralene? :D

Wasn't she brill :) Thanks for visiting, mate.

Annie McMahon said...

Yeah, Kurt, hurry up and write a new book! Keep your young fans happy. :D

Wow, so many comments already. I should ask Tara to give interviews more often. ;) She's more popular than me!

Emailman said...

LOL Awww, poor Annie. Yeah, you're right, though, she is! LOL

I need to post this on my website and my blog. Pride of place with my other interviews :)

Annie McMahon said...

Promote my blog all you want, Kurt, I really don't mind. LOL

Anastasia V. Pergakis said...

Fabulous interview! Tara is quite the professional! Annie, you should totally let her interview more children's authors. I mean, who better to ask questions than an actual kid!? LOL

To Tara: Fabulous questions! Keep it up and you might do this same thing as an adult!

To Kurt: You are just so fabulous, I have no words. (hugs and kisses to you)

Emailman said...

You're too kind, Anastasia :) Thank you so much for stopping by (hugs and kisses back)

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Very good interview, Tara :)

Lots of juicy questions accompanied by even juicer answers from the lovely, Kurt.

I hope your mum, Annie, allows you to host another interview someday :)

Well done!

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks for your comments, Jenna, Anastasia and Wendy! Nice to see you here on my blog. And good point. Kids are good at asking questions. I might let her do more interviews on my blog in a near future. Who will she be grilling next? ;)

Emailman said...

Thank you, Wendy :) Good to see you!

There will be a queue of authors waiting to be interviewed by Tara at this rate :)

Cyndi Tefft said...

Great job, Tara! I loved how you sprinkled in your own comments as you interviewed Kurt. I feel like I got to know both of you.

What fun! :)

Cyndi

Emailman said...

Thank you, Cyndi :)

Elle Strauss said...

A very fun interview, thanks for sharing!

Emailman said...

Thanks for taking the time to visit and leaving a comment, Elle :)

Annie McMahon said...

Thanks for visiting, Cyndi and Elle!

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