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Interview with G.P. Taylor
UK Bookselling

UK Bookselling Series

by Claire Main

#104, 1 October 2007

So how do I interview this multi-talented author, especially as there is little mention of chocolate in the story? I choose to arrive by horse drawn carriage and wear Victorian style - all black - to make me feel at ease. I ring the doorbell and expect to be greeted by at least one servant with a limp and a menacing expression. To my surprise, G.P. Taylor himself answers the door and kindly offers me a seat and a cup of Yorkshire tea.

BOOKTHINK: G.P., where are you from?

TAYLOR: I am a bit of a sojourner really - I have lived in many places. I would always say I am a Yorkshire man with a good dose of Irish blood and English heart.

BOOKTHINK: Tell us your latest news?

TAYLOR: The latest news is that everyone keeps saying Mariah Mundi is a natural successor to Harry Potter, which is amazing. So far all the children who have read it have thought it is great, and is really behind the book. The BBC said it was the book that would "keep the cash tills ringing after Harry Potter." So I am so excited that Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box has just been released.

BOOKTHINK: When did you begin writing?

TAYLOR: I started to write in 2003 so, I haven't been doing it for very long.

BOOKTHINK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

TAYLOR: I still don't - I would regard myself as a story teller, which I feel is more important. Writers remind me of stuffy old women that smell of carbolic.

BOOKTHINK: What inspired you to write your first book?

TAYLOR: Philip Pullman. He wrote something I totally disagreed with, and I felt he needed a rebuttal - so thanks, Philip!

BOOKTHINK: Who or what has influenced your writing?

TAYLOR: Movies ... my writing is influenced by films and read as if you are watching a movie - that's how I see them when I write them.

BOOKTHINK: How do you come up with a title for a book?

TAYLOR: It's the thing that always comes first - sadly, my American publisher always changes the titles and I haven't liked a single one yet.

BOOKTHINK: What books have influenced your life most?

TAYLOR: Lord of the Flies and 1984. I read them when I was quite young, and they had a major effect on my thoughts ever since. I don't like rats.

BOOKTHINK: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

TAYLOR: Charles Dickens, as he has such a great use of description in his books. I have been called the new C.S. Lewis, but I would say Dickens has had more effect on my writing than anything.

BOOKTHINK: What book are you reading now?

TAYLOR: Dirty Angels by Andrew Clover. It's a new book from a new writer, and it is really good. I am also reading a book called The Book of Ugly, which is far better than any Lemony Snicket I have ever read.

BOOKTHINK: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

TAYLOR: Emmaline Austere, who wrote The Book of Ugly - she is really weird. I love her style. She thinks she is a Victorian and always wears Victorian clothes.

BOOKTHINK: What are your current projects?

TAYLOR: I am trying to keep going with Mariah, as I have a few more books to write in the series, and then I have to start a special series called Erik and the Tizzle Twins - a manga novel with lots of illustrations published by Tyndale Press.

BOOKTHINK: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

TAYLOR: By watching Nottinghill and wanting to do something with my life.

BOOKTHINK: What do you see as the influences on your writing?

TAYLOR: It has to be movies - that and the moon - we have some fantastic moons here, and when I look at them, my thoughts go crazy.

BOOKTHINK: Do you have to travel much concerning your books?

TAYLOR: I visit about 250 schools each year and travel all over. I can't go back to the USA, as I have a death threat.

BOOKTHINK: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

TAYLOR: The ending - I never want them to end.

BOOKTHINK: Do you have any advice for other writers?

TAYLOR: Watch movies, and go for long walks in the dark.

BOOKTHINK: That's a good idea I might try that - it would give me a great excuse to eat loads of chocolate. Thanks so much for the interview.

As I prepare to leave, I notice the photo on the wall looks distinctively like a Krakon. The house suddenly shakes a little as if its foundations are being disturbed. It's time to go!

A few days later, a postman rings my doorbell and passes me a parcel with a smile on his face. Inside the parcel is a Mars bar with a note saying "a Mars a day helps you work, rest and get fat." I look at the Mars bar and think for a second, "Maybe this is the beginning of the end of my passion for chocolate." Then I glance down and see an empty wrapper - maybe not!

Questions or comments?
Contact the editor, Craig Stark

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