I’m always excited to have a visitor here to the blog – but I’m extra excited today, because my visitor is one of my all-time favourite authors, Steven Herrick. Steven is here to tell us all about his latest book. Welcome, Steven.
1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.
Bleakboy and Hunter Stand Out In the Rain by Steven Herrick.
University of Qld Press. May 2014.
2. Why did you write the book?
I’m always interested in telling a story from multiple perspectives – it’s certainly what I’ve most enjoyed when writing my verse-novels. I wanted to try the same idea through a prose novel for children. Although I’ve published twenty-two books, I’m still a novice when it comes to prose fiction – this is only my fourth prose novel, so I thought I’d experiment with the narrative by telling the story through two eleven-year-old boys – Jesse, narrated in the first person; and Hunter, told in third person.
3. How long from idea to publication?
Over a year as the early drafts were much more gloomy and downbeat than the finished manuscript.
4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?
I’m never sure how to answer this question? Everything from location to creating character to dialogue is ‘difficult’ and yet everything is a joy. It’s a privilege to be able to engage in such a pleasant activity as writing a novel and to call it my ‘occupation.’
5. Coolest thing about your book?
The cover! If I tried to even attempt to write something ‘cool’ I fear the result!
6. Something you learnt through writing the book?
It’s the thing I learn from every book, which is how much I value the sensitivity, expertise and devoted attention of a good editor. My books would be garbled gibberish if it wasn’t for my editors (and publishers). It is a honour to work with people so devoted and involved in a project that has sprang from the peaty bogged recesses of my imagination.
7. What did you do celebrate the release?
With all my books, I can’t remember ever having an outward celebration – no special dinner or wine or launch. But, I always hold a new copy in my hands and feel immense pride at having been a part of creating the book and as I mentioned above, enormous good fortune at being able to do this for a job. I’m pleased to say this feeling doesn’t disappear over time. Sometimes I hold one of my books written ten or twenty years ago and still feel such pride, even if I wonder where the story originated.
8. And how will you promote the book?
Like every book, I’ll stand up in front of over one hundred and fifty school audiences each year and talk about the characters or maybe read a short section and hope that it meets with an approving response.
9. What are you working on next?
Firstly, a book of poetry for young adults, but not a verse-novel. Perhaps it’ll be a follow-up to my first poetry book for teenagers ‘Water Bombs’ which was published 21 years ago.
Secondly, a prose novel for young adults about two young men who live in a rundown fishing village which is slowly being gentrified by weekenders from the city.
10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?
Thanks so much for visiting, Steven. It’s been an honour to have you.