What would YOU do if a flying saucer landed outside your home?
Danny Chaucer's Flying Saucer is the new book from Christopher Peter that takes the reader on a fun and engaging sci-fi adventure. With strong themes about friendship and bullying, it is a fantastic read for children aged 7+. They will love the exciting story and it might get reluctant readers to fall in love with reading books.
Christopher Peter is the author of two previous books for children, Falling Girl and BASIC Boy. He was inspired to start writing seriously after having children of his own – both because he believes that books are crucial to raising children and because it reminded him of the wonderful books that shaped him when he was young. Christopher Peter was born in Rochford, Essex, and now lives in Oxford with his wife and three children.
Christopher speaks candidly here in my first blog interview, on everything from Danny Chaucer to life as an author and blogger.
1) When did you decide that you wanted to write books?
Well I’ve always wanted to really, at least from primary school age. But it was when I turned 40 that I thought, right, time to do this now – not just start writing a book, but actually finish it. Maybe it takes a milestone in life to make you re-evaluate everything and to get on with something you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to. And since then I’ve written three books, so it worked in my case.
2) Why did you specifically choose to write children's books?
I think it’s because books had such a profound impact on me as a child, and I want other kids to enjoy the same gift. I also very strongly believe in the value of children’s books and the good that they can do. Some people look down on children’s literature a little, as if it’s a poor relation of ‘proper’ adult literature, but I profoundly disagree with that. Kids’ books may need to use simpler and more accessible language, and often be shorter, but they can still be great, well written stories and cover important themes. Indeed it’s just as much of a skill, and just as important to write well for children as for adults – arguably even more so when your readers are still maturing and developing. Kids deserve the best you can give.
3) What was the inspiration behind Danny Chaucer's Flying Saucer?
As a kid I loved space and sci-fi books, TV and films – and I’m still a Doctor Who fan. Also, as a kid I sometimes daydreamed about having my own flying saucer, so I could see space for myself, but also sort of fly away from problems I guess. In the story Danny is lonely and has problems with bullies, but he’s also fascinated by space. The saucer is his passport to adventure but also a kind of escape.
4) What would you do if a flying saucer landed outside your house?
Good question! I’d love to say I’d go inside it and fly away on a fabulous adventure. But in practice I’d probably do the boring adult thing and call the police. Though what the police would do I’ve no idea.
5) Is Danny coming back in another story?
Yes! I’m already halfway through writing the next book in the series, Moonzoom – no prizes for guessing where Danny ends up in that story! Nat, Captain Frost, Uncle Colin and of course BOB will also return. I’m also planning a third book, provisionally titled Mars Mission (again, no prizes for guessing the destination). I’m hoping Moonzoomwill be out early 2016 and Mars Mission in about summer 2016. There may also be more beyond that, but I’ve not got around to planning them yet.
6) When you are not writing you are...
All sorts of things. Time with my family, reading (both children’s and adult books), church, eating, sleeping, and of course the boring old day job.
7) What came first, blogging or writing books?
Writing books. Blogging was an offshoot of that; and I enjoy it, but to be honest it’s often a struggle to keep it up along with writing and the rest of life. I think time pressure is one of the biggest challenges for writers, especially now that they’re expected to build and maintain a healthy online platform and social media presence and also do a lot of their own marketing. All of this can be fun and interesting, but it eats up the hours like nothing else. And just writing a book takes ages. Still, enough moaning, I enjoy it really!
8) What is the best piece of advice you would give budding writers?
Write! That’s the number one priority. Keep at it, regularly, as much and often as you can. The more you write, the more you’ll develop your craft and the better you’ll be. Some of it (maybe quite a lot of it) you’ll read back afterwards and think ‘yuck!’. But that’s the same for everyone. The only way for an inexperienced writer to learn is to do more of it; and even famous critically-acclaimed writers don’t turn out brilliant finished prose in one draft, but rather it needs re-drafting, editing and polishing over and over again. If you love writing, keep at it. It’s hard work at times but worth it when you hold your finished book in your hands.
Danny Chaucer's Flying Saucer is now available to buy in paperback and as an e-book for Kindle on Amazon UK. You can buy via the associate link below. You will not be paying any more than the advertised price, Christopher will get all his royalties. I will earn a few pennies from Amazon, that's all!