#Sky Pirates Blog Tour: Author Interview with Alex English

Hello everybody! Today, I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for the first book in the Sky Pirates series with an interview with the author, Alex English. Onto the post!


  1. Hi Alex, thank you so much for being here and answering my questions! Can you please describe Sky Pirates in 5 words for anyone who isn’t sure what it’s about please?

A swashbuckling, steampunk pirate adventure!

  1. The book takes place in a completely different world to our own, and I absolutely LOVED your worldbuilding as it was so interesting and there was a lot of backstory to it. What would be your top tips for writers trying to create fantasy worlds?

Thank you! I had a lot of fun building the world of Sky Pirates. Unlike some writers, I don’t worry too much about creating the whole world before I start though. Instead, I get writing as soon as I can, focus on the characters and create the world as I go. I’d recommend making a map of your world, so that you don’t get confused, but it doesn’t need to be complete before you start writing. See where your pen takes you.

  1. I also really enjoyed the characters and their relationships, particularly Echo and Horace’s rather complicated friendship, but all of them kind of have their own different issues and subplots. If you were able to give some of them some advice, what would you say?

Echo and Horace work well together because they’re almost opposites – Echo is too hot-headed and impulsive sometimes, while Horace can be too cautious. So I think I would advise them to try to listen to one another and learn from each other.

  1. Speaking of characters, I feel like Gilbert needs a shout out! He was such a brilliant companion and so I was wondering who you’d choose be your animal sidekick from literature/TV and film if you could pick anyone?

Does a daemon count? If so, I’d love to have Lord Asriel’s snow leopard in the His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman.

  1. The pirates were so great too, and I loved getting to meet them as the book went on. Did you do any research on real life pirates while you were writing? And who are some of your favourite historical or fictional pirates?

Yes, I did do quite a bit of pirate research. Unfortunately, real-life pirates aren’t quite as much fun as story pirates, and they mostly were quite cruel people who ended up dying horrible deaths! My favourite is probably Blackbeard, who plaited his beard so it looked like snakes were crawling through it and added smoking ropes to make himself look more terrifying.

  1. What is your writing routine like? Do you have any unusual habits or quirks, and has anything changed since lockdown began?

My usual routine would be to get up very early and go for a run, get the kids to school and then write most of the morning. I break for lunch and then do more routine work, admin, website, etc in the afternoon before collecting them from school. I have a lot less writing time since lockdown began as I have been home schooling the children. I’ve been doing more writing in the evening and at weekends, which isn’t the best time for me but needs must!

  1. This is obviously a very unusual and difficult year to be releasing a book in, but what are you most excited about now the book is published? Do you have any rituals for celebrating publishing something new?

It is a very strange year. I haven’t had an official book launch, instead I’m going to launch the second book in the series next year when I’ll be moving back to the UK and hopefully things will be a bit more normal. I’m looking forward to being able to celebrate properly with cake and wine and friends.

The most exciting part for me is that my book is finally going to be in real live children’s hands.

  1. Finally, can you give us any hints about what might be coming next in the series? I’m so looking forward to seeing more of the world!

I’m currently writing the second book, where we learn a lot more about the other sky pirate clans and Echo goes on the hunt for dragon treasure. That’s all I can tell you for now!

QUICKFIRE

3 random facts about you?

I’m a keen runner

I studied maths at university

When I was a child I had a pet slug called Hector

Favourite ice cream flavour? Mint choc-chip

Inspired by the fact I have one of my favourite albums on while I write this, your favourite album and/or musical artist? My favourite artist is PJ Harvey, but I also like really poppy stuff like Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepson, especially when I’m running.

Top 3 books you’ve read so far in 2020?

  • The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke
  • The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley
    The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar

3 books you’re most excited for in the rest of 2020?

  • Dragon Mountain by Katie & Kevin Tsang
  • The Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny
  • Tamarind & the Star of Isha by Jasbinder Bilan

Have you read this book? Are you planning to? 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: goldenbooksgirl@gmail.com | she/her

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