Monday, 15 September 2014

Mutant City - 3D Review - Steve Feasey - Author Interview

What was your favourite children’s book as a child?

There are two or three books that really stick in my mind as having a profound effect on me. The first would be The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall. Westall is a wonderful storyteller, and the book is, in my opinion, his best work. The main protagonist, Chas McGill, appealed to me in a way few others had until that point, and I strongly connected with the children in the book, all of whom because of the war are largely forced to live independently of the adults around them. The other two books that really stick out in my mind as firm favourites were The Hobbit by Tolkien and Call of the Wild by Jack London.

What is your favourite children’s book as an adult?

I love To Kill a Mockingbird, but I don’t really consider that to be a children’s book, despite the fact that it appeals to children every bit as much as adults. I think the children’s book I most admire as an adult is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – it’s perfectly written and perfectly illustrated, and you can’t help but love it.


What do you think makes children’s books so inspirational?

The books we read as children and young adults often stick with us throughout life in a way adult books don’t. They help us to shape the way we see things, allow us to experience things we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, and they can help us to decide how we might react in similar situations to the characters that we have invested in.


Why did you start writing for children?

For all of the reasons I’ve listed in the previous qy local library’s ‘Fantasy and Sci-Fi’ section. Books by Moorcock, Harrison, Eddings and Asimov appealed to me like no other, and it created a love of science in me that’s stuck with me throughout my life.

After the Changeling books, I wanted to write something that reflected my early love of this genre (or genres – some sci-fi fans don’t appreciate fantasy being lumped in with their works), so I set about writing a book that had both strong sci-fi and fantasy elements.

What is your favourite aspect of writing for children?

The enthusiasm that readers show for your work. Even when the writing process isn’t going so well, you can be lifted by a review or an email from a young reader saying how much they loved your books. I also love their honesty – if something doesn’t work for them, they’re not afraid to let you know!




What made you want to write this book?

As a teenager I devoured everything I could get my hands on from my local library’s ‘Fantasy and Sci-Fi’ section. Books by Moorcock, Harrison, Eddings and Asimov appealed to me like no other, and it created a love of science in me that’s stuck with me throughout my life.

After the Changeling books, I wanted to write something that reflected my early love of this genre (or genres – some sci-fi fans don’t appreciate fantasy being lumped in with their works), so I set about writing a book that had both strong sci-fi and fantasy elements. 

There is a lot of world building in Mutant City, was this challenging to get right?

It was. The problem with writing a book in which you’re creating an alternative view of the world is that it can very quickly become ‘unwieldy’. You want to let the reader experience exactly what it is to live in this new place: the environment, the socioeconomics, the ethics, the power balance etc., but you have to be aware that you’re not writing an epic like Game of Thrones. Giving enough for the reader’s imagination to get a hold of, but not becoming too wordy is a tricky balancing act.

Book two, Mutant Rising, is due for publication next year, can you give us some hints as what to expect?

The children with the superpowers have become rebels; seen as terrorists by the Pure living in the Cities. There’s a price on their heads, and they have to hide from those sent out to capture them. Meanwhile, President Melk’s rise to power has made him unstable, and his ideas on how to solve the ‘mutant problem’ are becoming more and more extreme. Things come to a head when the children accidentally discover what his latest plan is, and decide they must put a stop to it. (No spoilers there.)


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