Q&A with Ross Welford.
Following the publication earlier this month of Ross Welford’s latest book by HarperCollins I was fortunate enough to put questions to Ross to get details from behind the story The Kid who came from Space and to find out more about the author himself.
In his latest book Ross takes readers on a journey to an alien planet as they embark on a journey with Ethan, a young boy who is left devastated when his twin sister Tammy goes missing, quite literally vanishing off of the face of the planet. Ethan teams up with the unlikely Iggy to bring Tammy home and fix his broken family, and although nothing can prepare them for the distance they will travel and the threats that face them along the way the pair are left with more than just the incredible bond between them as a souvenir from their travels to Space.
- Describe your latest title The Kid Who Came from Space in five words.
Thrilling, funny, weird, uplifting, emotional
- You have previously written about time travel (Time Travelling with a Hamster) and in your current book you write about space travel and alien life form, are you a fan of science fiction, and is that your preferred genre?
To be honest, I hardly read any, or at least I don’t specifically seek it out. That is good, I suppose, because it means I approach the genre with fewer preconceived ideas about what it should be; on the other hand I often have ideas that turn out to have been done before so I have to abandon them!
- Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Trek, I guess. I have only ever seen one Star Wars film: the original one. It was OK.
- Do you believe in the extra terrestrial?
As in alien life-forms? I suppose in the vastness of the universe, we are unlikely to be the only living things, but I am rather sceptical about our having been visited by alien space craft!
- How much research went into this latest book, and what would you say was the most significant?
The sci-fi stuff is pretty much all made up: I mean, it’s impossible to research alien planets, right? So the most significant research I did was to visit Kielder, where most of the story takes place. Ethan’s parents’ pub (“the Stargazer”) is strongly based on the Angler’s Arms in Kielder.
- Your books all contain reference to Culvercot, how significant is this place to you?
It’s where I grew up, although in real life it’s called Cullercoats. I wish I’d kept the real name, now, because all the other place names are real – but I’m kind of stuck with Culvercot!
- Your books are all standalone stories, which one of your publications would you be most tempted to continue into a series and why?
Most of my books contain “keys” to unlocking the story again if I want to, but I’ve never quite found a good enough reason for going back to it. (Georgie, for example, in The Dog Who Saved The World, has safely buried the computer disk that operated Dr Pretorius’s VR lab, so she could dig it up…but why would she?) I’d quite like to continue Hellyann’s story in The Kid Who Came From Space: she’s heading back to a world where an uprising is beginning against The Advisor. So maybe…!
- The story reflects the determination of characters to reach the goals that they are hoping to achieve. How do you remain focused and determined when writing your newest book?
That’s the hardest thing for any writer! I guess a deadline helps. I have a contractual obligation to deliver the draft of my next book in July and if I don’t, I don’t get paid, so there’s that… Writing is my full-time job, so I have no excuse not to sit at my desk and write.
- What are you currently reading?
I’m reading The Outsider by Stephen King. It’s very weird, but then what did I expect?
- Are you currently writing, and if so can you tell us a little about it?
I’m trying to find my way into a story about dreams and the crossover between dreams and reality but that’s about all I can tell you because that’s about all I know at the moment!
- Who is your all time favourite author, and which of their books would you recommend to others?
Can I have three? Charles Dickens (A Tale Of Two Cities); William Boyd (Any Human Heart); and Iain Banks (The Crow Road).
Ross’ latest title The Kid who came from Space is available now, published by Harper Collins.
The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the FCBG.