Children’s Book Awards Blog Tour: Interview with Lisa Thompson

Hello everybody! Today, I’m really excited to be part of the Children’s Book Awards– an award that can be voted for by anyone under 18- blog tour, with an interview with Lisa Thompson, whose book the Light Jar is on this year’s shortlist. Onto the post!

Hi Lisa, thank you so much for being here and agreeing to answer my questions!

1. First of all, can you describe the Light Jar for anyone who hasn`t read it?

Nate and his mum run away from a troubled home one winter’s night. They hide out in a dilapidated cottage at the edge of a wood. His mum goes out for provisions and doesn’t return. Someone Nate hasn’t seen for many years returns just when he needs him… There is a magical element, a mysterious girl in the woods and an age-old treasure map that needs solving.

2. One of the main themes of the Light Jar is emotional abuse, as Nate and his mum are escaping from an abusive situation. Was there anything that prompted you to raise awareness of this issue, and was it difficult to write it for such a young target audience?

The serious issues that I cover seem to develop as I write – I never really set out to cover a particular area at the start. I know that emotional abuse can creep up on someone without them realising, and I wanted that to be a strong element of the book. I could ‘drip feed’ the details to the reader so it sneaks up on them as much as it crept up on Nate and his mum. It is a very tough subject, but I find that writing from a child’s perspective always helps when covering a difficult topic.

3. Another key focus of the book is imaginary friends. Did you have an imaginary friend when you were young, or have you ever heard of any particularly interesting ones from people you know?

I didn’t! I have asked lots of children this question and am always surprised at how many are out there (abandoned or otherwise!)

4. My personal favourite part of the book was your narrator Nate, because he is immediately and incredibly endearing (as are all your narrators, actually…). Who are your top 3 narrators in books?

Oooh, that’s a good question. Adrian Mole, Katniss Everdeen and Scout Finch.

5. How do you feel about being nominated for this award? How did you find out, and do you have any traditions when celebrating exciting news?

I am absolutely thrilled! I was nominated last year for The Goldfish Boy and so it feels incredibly special to get a second nomination! Also, awards that are voted for by children are extra special. I think my celebrating tradition usually involves jumping around the house for a bit!

6. All of your books so far, including the Light Jar, have featured some sort of mystery. What draws you to writing mysteries, and what tips would you give to writers who wanted to attempt one?

I love reading mysteries but didn’t think I’d ever be capable of writing one. What I have discovered is that I do most of the best mystery writing when I’m editing. I think in a first draft you can be pretty obvious about where the story is going, and in the editing you can tweak it so that there are red herrings, twists and turns etc.

7. What is your writing routine like? Do you have any unusual habits or quirks?

I try to write in the morning (from 8am) as I’m not able to write later in the day (I’m a lark!). Recently I’ve tried setting an alarm (for 30 mins or an hour) and I just write solidly. It’s a good way to concentrate the mind! I then have a stretch/tea/biscuits and repeat throughout the day.

8. Finally, can you say anything about what you`re working on at the moment/releasing next?

I have a novella called ‘Owen and the Soldier’ coming out in June with the publisher Barrington Stoke. I’m really looking forward to reader’s reactions to that one! Also in June, there is an anthology coming out called ‘Return to Wonderland’, published by Macmillian. The collection is all about what happened in Wonderland after Alice has left and eleven authors have written a short story from a different character’s perspective. My one is about the Knave of Hearts. It was a great project to be involved with. I’m currently writing a fourth book for Scholastic which is out in 2020. Busy, busy!


As I know you`re a film fan from our chats on Twitter, what`s your favourite film? (or top 3 if you can`t pick… I`m not a monster 😉) The Sixth Sense, 28 Days Later and Big Fish.

Favourite chocolate bar/type? Bourbon biscuits.

Animal you`d most like to be for a day? A dolphin.

3 random facts about you? I’ve been knocked unconscious once (at an ice rink). I’ve been in a lift with a Bee Gee. I’m really good at word searches.

Your top 3 books of 2018? The Boy At The Back Of The Class by Onjali Rauf, The 1000 Year Old Boy by Ross Welford, A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens.

Are you a fan of Lisa’s books, or do you have them on your TBR? Which book on the CBA shortlist would you vote for? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Amy x

Author: goldenbooksgirl

Disabled book blogger who also writes TV, film, music and other posts from time to time | UKYABA Champion Teen 2018 | Email: | she/her

4 thoughts on “Children’s Book Awards Blog Tour: Interview with Lisa Thompson”

  1. Great read. I agree Scout is a top narrator. And I liked reading about how Lisa adds in the twysts etc to make the mystery more mysterious in the edits – clever.

    Liked by 1 person

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