Questions I Frequently Ask
Hi, how are you? What are you reading?
When will there be another season of Sherlock?
Do we want another season of Sherlock?
Will this draft ever be done?
Are there any chips?
Questions I Am Frequently Asked
When is your book coming out?
It’s out! THE UNLIKELY ESCAPE OF URIAH HEEP came out July 23 2019 from Orbit. It will be released in paperback and in the UK/Commonwealth on January 23 2020.
What is your book about?
Books. Magic. Sibling rivalry. Present-day Wellington. Dickensian London. Academia. Children’s stories. Girl detectives grown up. Literary characters coming to life. An impossible street hidden behind a wall. Shape-shifting Dickensian villains, multiple Mr Darcys, and the Hound of the Baskervilles. Dorian Gray is in it too. I like Dorian Gray.
There’s another summary under “Books”, which is much better because Orbit wrote it and they’re professionals. You can also order the book at the links there.
Are you excited?
YES THANK YOU VERY EXCITED CAN YOU TELL???
What does the H.G. stand for?
What are some things you like?
It’s too obvious, but honestly: books, and everything associated with them. Writing them, reading them outdoors, studying them, watching BBC adaptations of them, visiting them in libraries and old bookshops and new bookshops, tripping over piles of them in the dark (well maybe not that last but it happens a lot).
I also love history, travelling, rabbits, windy days, theatre, sketching, potatoes (but not sketching potatoes), trees, and magicians. Wellington and London are the cities of my heart and soul.
What is your favourite book?
This is such a reasonable question to ask, and so impossible to answer.
I grew up on The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien), Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams), and Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series. Somehow, these worked together in my head.
I’ve studied or tutored just about every literary time period there is, from Old English to Modernism to the present day, and I honestly love so many writers from all of them with all of my heart. I love Beowulf and Chaucer, Shakespeare and Keats, Jane Austen and the Brontës and Elizabeth Gaskell and Charles Dickens and Dostoyevsky and Katherine Mansfield and Ford Madox Ford and oh no I forgot Mary Shelley we have to go back. Homer and Virgil have had the biggest influence on my reading life.
My PhD was in children’s fantasy, so I love C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, T.H. White, Rosemary Sutcliff, Beatrix Potter, and Richard Adams (I still don’t know if Watership Down is actually a children’s book, but it’s a book about rabbits who are also epic heroes and that’s all you can ask for from a book). I also talk about Paddington Bear a lot.
Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn is a perfect book. So is P.D. James’s The Children of Men, Dodi Smith’s I Capture the Castle, and W. Somerset Maugham’s The Painted Veil. I love Laini Taylor and V.E. Schwab and Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Jude Morgan writes sentences so gorgeous I cry. I recently started reading my way through Daphne du Maurier and oh my goodness. And if we’re talking writers, not necessarily of novels, I would give my left kidney to write like Steven Moffat (Jekyll, people. If you haven’t watched it you should).
But if I had to pick one…
The Lord of the Rings. It’s the only correct answer.
Who would you bring out of a book, if you could?
I’ve thought about this a lot, obviously. And the more I thought about, the more obvious it became.
I’m not joking.
Failing that, I have a huge weakness for arrogant magicians in any shape or form, so probably Doctor Strange AND Jonathan Strange AND Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. At which point I’ll realise that I should have stuck with Paddington Bear.