Today another fabulous 2015 debut author is stopping by. Welcome Tatum Flynn!
Tatum Flynn spent the past decade telling lies for a living as a professional poker player, and hopes to spend the next decades telling lies for a living as a children’s author. Her debut MG fantasy, BRIMSTONE FOR BREAKFAST, is out April 2015 from Orchard Books/Hachette, with a sequel to follow. She lives by the sea in England with a cat called Friday and too many hats. You can find her on Twitter and her website.
Could you give us the one sentence pitch of your book?
Lucifer’s youngest son Jinx is in trouble because he’s hopeless at being evil, and circus girl Tommy is dead because of a tiny problem with a grumpy lion; when the two unlikely friends meet in Hell, shenanigans involving treacherous demons, carnivorous carousel horses and dangerous libraries ensue.
Why middle grade?
How long have you got? :) Kid’s books are some of the most vibrant, original, entertaining, well-written fiction out there right now. You can write about pretty much anything, and mash-up any genres you like, and no one tells you off. The ages of eight to twelve are crucial – kids who fall in love with reading at that age often become lifelong readers. Ask any adult what their favourite children’s book is and they will always have an answer, because the books you read at that age stay with you forever. Oh and I probably have a mental age of eleven :P
Generally speaking, which comes first: the world, the characters, or the plot?
Well I’m still new to all this and only working on my third novel, but so far I’ve tend ed to come up with a premise and world first, which are closely bound, then I come up with the characters to put into that world. Finally, I create the plot, which is the toughest thing for me and takes a while.
They are always coming out with new editions of board games. If your book could be a special edition of any board game, which would you choose?
Brilliant question! I’d go for Cluedo: Hellish Edition. Did Jinx and Tommy almost bite the dust in the library, with the bottomless abyss? Or in the Frozen Forest, with the deranged witches? Or in the desert, with the two-headed vultures? Or was it in the fairground, with the carnivorous carousel horses?
What is your favorite middle grade read?
Harry Potter. I make no apologies for being unoriginal: Rowling has written one of the most entertaining, emotional, brilliantly-plotted stories I’ve ever read, with the most fantastic world-building and characters to boot. Oh and it’s funny too. I absolutely adore it.
You don’t even need to consider apologizing for that! I stand right behind you on that answer :) Thanks so much for stopping by Tatum.
Now Tatum’s debut comes out in April of next year, and I am so excited for it my excitement cannot be contained! There’s no cover yet, but here’s a bit about the book:
About BRIMSTONE FOR BREAKFAST: A hilarious, crackling, original debut about a twelve-year-old demon, perfect for fans of Derek Landy and Eoin Colfer.
Lucifer’s youngest son, Jinx, is a failure as a demon. All he wants is to make his dad proud, but he’s just terrible at being terrible. After getting into trouble once too often (how was he supposed to know Blackbeard had a soft spot for mermaids?), Jinx runs away from Pandemonium, the walled city he’s lived in all his life. Braving the unknown perils of Outer Hell armed only with his wits, some soggy ketchup sandwiches, and a vampire bat named Bruce, he runs into eleven-year-old Tommy, who’s ended up in Hell after accidentally feeding her nasty uncle to a circus lion.
When Tommy and Jinx overhear the vicious Morax plotting to steal Lucifer’s throne, they embark on an adventure through Hell to try to prevent the coup. To succeed, they’ll need to brave carnivorous carousel horses, deranged dead people, soul-sucking mirages and two-headed vultures. But if they fail, not only will Jinx and his family be left to rot in the dungeons, but Morax and his cohorts will make Earth a far more dangerous place to be human than it has ever been before…