Hello everyone! Today, I’m so excited to be celebrating the book birthday of Crater Lake (which was my first five star read this year!) With an author interview with the wonderful Jennifer Killick. Onto the post!
1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for being here! Can you please describe Crater Lake in 5 words for us?
Hello, Amy! Thanks so much for these brilliant questions. 🙂 Horror, comedy, friendship, NO SLEEP!
2. Your books cover a few different genres, but one thing they all have in common is that they’re hilarious. Funny books are so important, now more than ever, so what would your top 3 recommendations be?
Funny books are so important, especially in stressful times. I recommend ‘Anisha, Accidental Detective’ by Serena Patel, ‘The Book With No Pictures’ by BJ Novak and the ‘Waiting For Callback’ series by Perdita and Honor Cargill. Funny books to span the whole of childhood!
3. On a similar note, what are your tips for authors writing funny fiction?
Most of the humour in my stories is driven by the characters. Children are naturally hilarious – they’re honest, they speak their minds, and they compete and bounce off each other in a way that adults don’t. Let your characters lead the way, and don’t overwork the jokes.
4. So far, you’ve had books set in three different worlds, and they’re all so wonderful. The Alex Sparrow books are about Alex and Jess being given slightly strange superpowers, so do you have any unusual talents, and what you want your power to be in this world?
I would love to have a healing power, though I’m not sure that would be random enough to work in Alex and Jess’s world. Maybe the power that lots of children seem to have where they can tell who a lost item belongs to, just by sniffing it. The side effect could be that I get really thick hair growing out of my nose.
5. Mo, Lottie and the Junkers focuses on the two main characters facing off against the sinister Junkers, and it’s brilliant. I think my favourite thing about it was the unusual format. Do you have any recommendations for anything similar, and did it change how you went about writing in any way?
I really wanted to try something different with the format of Mo, Lottie and the Junkers, so I’m delighted that you liked it. It was partly inspired by the ‘Illuminae Files’ series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It’s a YA trilogy, and one of the best series I’ve ever read, written in such a unique way, and proper edge-of-your-seat sci-fi. I also loved the idea of hiding clues within the story, so that children could search for them as they read.
6. Crater Lake still has a sci-fi feel, but it’s definitely more of a horror than your previous books! Was there anything specific that made you want to write it? And which of the brilliant promo videos were the most fun to film?
For Crater Lake, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to create. Again, inspired by ‘Illuminae Files’, I wanted to keep raising the stakes and pack it full of ‘gasp moments’. I was also watching a lot of ‘The Walking Dead’ at the time (the early series before it got rubbish), and there was a lot of Rick Grimes in my head as I wrote Lance’s story. So it was always going to be about friendship and survival, with as much nasty horror as I could get away with in a children’s book. Making the promo videos was so much fun, as it allowed me to be creative in a totally different way. The ‘Scream’ parody was fun because most of the family was involved, and we were all laughing really hard. There were many, many takes. The Jurassic Book one was hilarious because we were out in the wind and getting stuck in bushes. And the ‘Blair Witch’ one I loved doing because I feel like a proper actor!
7. Another writing question just in general: what is your writing routine normally like, and do you have any unusual habits or quirks?
I don’t have much of a routine for writing. It tends to be all snatches of time and random opportunities to get an hour in. I’m not good at spending a full day writing, as I do better in bursts, with a break in between to go for a run or a nap. I can get loads done in an hour if I’ve spent the previous one doing something else. Naps and snacks are of the greatest importance. And comfy clothes.
8. Finally, before our quickfire round, if you were asked to write a book for the estate of an author, who would you want it to be, and which of their books would you write a sequel to or companion for?
Oh gosh, this is tough! I think it would have to be Jane Austen, because of the colourful characters and the humour. Perhaps a new take on Northanger Abbey with a sci-fi twist.
Superhero: Wonder Woman
Taylor Swift song: Long Live
Strictly Pro: Aljaz and Janette. They are both adorable.
Top 3 books of 2020 so far? Wranglestone’ by Darren Charlton, ‘I Don’t Like Books. Never. Ever. The End.’ by Emma Perry and Sharon Davey and ‘Anisha, Accidental Detective’ by Serena Patel
3 books you’re most excited about for the rest of the year? ‘Wilde’ by Eloise Williams, ‘Harrow Lake’ by Kat Ellis and ‘Expiry Date’ by Rachel Ward (not children’s, but brilliant)
Thank you so much for reading! Are you a fan of Jennifer’s books? What would your answers to some of these be? I’d really love to hear in the comments! Amy x