My small corner of the web dedicated to the booklove :)

22 Oct 2010

Alex Scarrow – HSBC Book It! Tent – 09/10/10 5:30-6:30pm

 "Books are like an epic, budget-less movie." - Alex Scarrow

Aaah, what could I say to give this man justice?

Well, first off and most importantly – he is the author of a series of children’s books called: TimeRiders. Currently there are two books available, with the 3rd coming early next year, and the plan is it will be a 9-book series. W-O-W!
But Alex is no novice in the novel universe – having written several books for adults both historical and action-thrillers. Not to mention his brother, Simon, is also very prolific in the adult market of fiction.
But suffice to say, I’d not really paid much attention to the ‘Scarrow Clan’ until the first of the TimeRiders books hit my shelves. So the opportunity to meet him at the Cheltenham Literature Festival seemed like a must!

The main thing I’d have to say about Mr Scarrow is that he has a huge stage presence, and the HSBC Tent really gave him free reign to interact with his audience. Firstly he talked about his previous jobs – Rock musician, Graphic Designer and Video Game think-tank. He mentioned that while none of his ideas for video games ever made it to production; he said it played a pivotal part in his turning to children’s fiction and the TimeRiders series.

He then treats us to an amazing music video of his own creation detailing the series.

He goes on to ask the audience several probing questions about ‘what ifs’ using various slide-show images. “What if Hitler didn’t invade Russia?” and “What if the dinosaurs didn’t die out?” to some rather surprising and thought-provoking scenes.
Alex then treats us to a reading of the very first chapter of book one. The whole room is rapt with attention, myself among them!

Then came the fun part of the show – Alex’s very own TimeRiders Quiz show! Throwing his whole being into the show, he asks his teams probing questions about historical events – a lot of which they got right! (A lot of them I didn’t know *blush*)

Afterwards he throws the floor to the audience and the kids are eager, with many hands raised and a lot of bouncing in seats. I had to ask wether he had studied history at all – as it is a huge part of this series. Surprisingly though – he never did! He said he has always had a great love for history, and does indeed read as many books as he can – especially when doing research for each book. He particularly loves being able to manipulate it all as well.

Listening to Alex talk about his creation you can clearly see the love and excitement that he has for them. His whole being is animated in fact. There is also talk of film, the rights of which are in discussion at the moment.
In conclusion, I think it’s safe to say that this is a series to watch. It’s going to be MEGA!

See how cool he is? *laughs*


alex scarrow said...

Hi Alex,

It was a fun gig, nice crowd. I hope they have me back. I do love lit fests! I remember doing that photo....sheeshh I'm gurning like Popeye.

Hope to see you again at Cheltenham next year!

all the best