I received a copy of The Iron Golem from Goodreads, after registering an interest months before. So it was a rather lovely surprise when it arrived in the post. I contacted Christian via Goodreads for an interview and he kindly obliged!
“Monsters. Mad Scientists. Danger. Dark forces are converging on the sleepy town of Autumn’s Hallow. Monsters in the woods, mad scientists on the loose and sinister minions lurk. Four young friends must band together to uncover a secret plot that threatens them, the town they live in and the people they love. It’s up to Blaine Davis, Daschle Gaunt, Shelley Merry and Drake Harker, heirs to fantastic powers to stop an evil that threatens to consume the world. Can the Monster Squad thwart the evil Victor von Frankenstein in time? Find out in Book 1 of an exciting new series!
I always enjoy reading author interviews and was pleased to be able to find out more about Christians inspirations and love of books.
Who are your favourite authors?
Wow, there are a lot. I think the three most influential for me have been:
- JD Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye is a seminal Young Adult book with such a powerful central character and voice in Holden Caulfield. I wasn’t as into some of his other works like Franny & Zoe but still, Catcher in the Rye made me see the power in writing for younger readers
- Terry Brooks – no one got me into reading more than Terry Brooks and the Shannara and later the Magic Kingdom For Sale books. He basically took the whole Fantasy genre and made it accessible. At the age of 12, The Sword of Shannara was the first “real” book I ever read for fun and it introduced me to a whole new world of entertainment
- Rick Riordan – his Percy Jackson books create such a fun world and lively characters while teaching kids about history and culture in a super-engaging way. I strive to even capture a fraction of that magic in my writing
What inspired you to write this book?
My kids. They are voracious consumers of books and as they have gotten older (they are 7 & 9) the sophistication of their tastes have changed. Their bedtime staples have included Harry Potter, The 39 Clues, Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowle and I thought it would be fun to write a story they would enjoy hearing/reading and I would enjoy telling – something fun, fast-paced, with characters my daughter and son would relate to that also taught them about a new vein of fiction and cast of characters… in the case of the Monster Squad the rich pantheon of Gothic literature from authors like Shelley, Poe, Stoker, Stevenson and others.
Is there a theme or message that you want the readers to take away from the book?
You don’t need special powers to be a superhero. Two of my favourite characters, Shelley and Kevin, more often than not use their brains and bravery to save the day rather than any kind of mutant monster powers. Secondary message? I’d love to inspire kids to learn more about the stories and characters behind the book – there is such a treasure trove on Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, Roswell, Area 51, you name it for kids to explore and be inspired by. I hope in some small measure my stories help kids to seek out the great authors, characters and situations behind these icons and enrich their understanding of pop culture, literature and cinema.
What was the last book you read?
For fun? I think it was The Mark of Athena in the Heroes of Olympus series. To be honest, I read Middle Grade and Young Adult books for fun all the time. It’s always funny when I’m asked who is the target market for my book? Yes, the primary audience is kids but I think these types of books are just as enjoyable for adults… just like a good summer tent-pole movie. So I try to write with a broad range to the dialogue and humour so readers of all ages have something to enjoy.
What is your favourite monster-themed book?
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. It is technically a collection of short stories but I thought the 3 laws of robotics and some of the concepts Asimov explores in how humans and advanced artificial intelligence will evolve are fascinating. Now granted, you could argue I, Robot is Science-Fiction but I would say Sci-Fi is just the modern evolution of what the Gothic writers of yore started in terms of exploring humanity’s growth and limitations against the foil of a monster… same thing with Science Fiction and the mysteries of space and technology.
When is the next book in the series out?
Jekyll & Hyde is about 75% of the way done in draft form… so late summer if I hustle. It takes the kids in the Monster Squad away from their home in coastal Oregon to the gothic streets and ancient castles of Europe. I won’t give away too many details… but Blaine, Shelley, Dash, Drake, Kevin & Vickie discover there is a whole big world of monsters out there, Jekyll & Hyde being two of the nastier and stranger among them.
Summarise your book in 3 sentences
MONSTER SQUAD: THE IRON GOLEM is a fast-paced mash-up of monster movies and sci-fi with a fresh style for readers 10+. Check out what critics are describing as “well-written and briskly paced” (Kirkus) and “fresh and compelling” (Blueink). Out now!
Thank you to Christian for popping by! I greatly enjoyed the Iron Golem, and am looking forward to part two.