Friday, 13 September 2013

Author Interview: Kieran Larwood

Today I've got Kieran Larwood, author of Freaks, a Middle Grade paranormal novel, here on the blog for an interview (as part of Books that Glow: YA & MG 2013, which I'm co-hosting with Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic).

Interview with Kieran Larwood

Tell us about your book in five (not connected) words.
Freaky, funny, Victorian, action, mystery
What gave you the inspiration to write your novel, FREAKS?
I had a crew of strange characters from a sic-fi story I was writing, and I wanted to put them in another setting.  The perfect place for them was a Victorian freakshow, and the rest came from there...
What does the playlist for your novel look like?
Difficult one!  It would have to be some Victorian style street ballad, maybe remixed by Skrillex with a few guitar solos thrown in.  I can't think of any specific songs that include all that!

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea the rest of the day.
Early Bird or Night Owl?
Night Owl.  If I didn't have a day job, I would actually become nocturnal.
Cats or Dogs?
I like both.  Except for the cat that keeps pooing in my garden.
Sweet or Salty?
If it's popcorn you're talking about, then sweet.
Series or Standalones?
I love getting lost in a good series, but then there's always the problem of waiting around for the next book...
Who would be in your dream cast if FREAKS was to become a movie?
There would have to be some pretty heavy CGI involved, but I would say- Gigantus: Jason Statham, Mama Rat: Minnie Driver, Monkeyboy… he's kind of based on my brother, so it would have to be him.  As for Sheba and SIster Moon, I couldn't imagine anybody being them.  They're too firmly fixed in my head as themselves.
What are the top 5 books that you think EVERYONE should read?
I don't know if I could pick just five!  I would say: The Hobbit- J.R.R.Tolkein, A Wizard of Earthsea- Ursula Le Guin, The Borribles- Michael de Larrabeiti, Oliver Twist- Charles Dickens, The Hounds of the Morrigan- Pat O'Shea… I could suggest at least twenty more.
What in your opinion is the hardest thing about writing a book? Do you have any advice for aspiring authors out there?
The hardest thing is probably getting published, but apart from that, getting the first draft finished is tough going.  Once that's done, the best thing to do is put it away for a while, then come back to it with fresh eyes and start rewriting it, over and over again, if necessary, until you get it just right.
What do you have in store for us next?
I'm working on something completely different to Freaks at the moment, and I have a couple of other projects in mind.  I'd like to try something for younger readers, and maybe something in the YA bracket too.
When you're not writing what can you be found doing?
I work as a Primary school teacher, so most of my time is spent in the classroom or planning.  In the scarce few hours left between that and writing, I try and read as much as possible, draw the odd picture and sleep!

Thank you so much to Kieran Larwood for taking the time out to answer our questions :)

About the author:

Kieran Larwood is the author of Freaks, and was the winner of the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2011. 
Kieran is one of only two male Reception class teachers on the Isle of Wight. His days mainly consist of singing nursery rhymes, tying shoelaces, trying to locate who has had an ‘accident’ by sense of smell alone, and vast, endless mountains of paperwork.
Kieran graduated from Southampton University with a degree in English, and also did a foundation year at Falmouth College of Art. Ever since he first read The Hobbit at age six, he has been passionate about stories and storytelling. Kieran lives with his family on the Isle of Wight. It is his dream to write full time and leave the ‘accidents’ to someone else.

Find Kieran on:

About Freaks

The Freaks are a band of misfits, trapped in a nightly Victorian sideshow. There’s Wolf-girl, Sheba, with her amazing sense of smell; Sister Moon, who can move at the speed of light; and Monkey Boy, ace climber and human stink bomb. But during the day, the Freaks decide to put their extraordinary talents to use. And in a world of child-snatchers, grave robbers and dastardly doctors, they solve the mysteries no one else cares about, including why London’s poorest children are being snatched from the banks of the Thames.


  1. Fun interview! I really love how eye catching the cover is for this one, sort of pretty and creepy at the same time!

  2. I love when there are characters that are so individual and unlike anyone else that you can't really cast them at all. It kind of gives everybody a blank slate, too, were they ever to audition for that role, so they can surprise you in their own special ways :) I also love getting lost in a good series, too, even if I hate the ongoing trend of cliffhangers recently.

    Fantastic interview!


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