The Never Ending Summer has such wonderful depth and rich detail, how long did it take you to research and write this book? Do you have any plans to write a sequel?
There was a lot of research involved. I usually take my time with research as I want to get details feeling authentic. I think I spent a month on reading around the subject for NES. A first draft normally takes me three months with a fortnight for second draft and a week for a third. I’m a very fast writer which is helpful when I’m juggling other things.
You have so many different talents, do you have a favourite way of working? How do you decide which projects to take on?
I keep a very strict schedule. I’m at my desk from 8 in the morning and I generally finish my working day between 5 and 6 depending on how brain frazzled I find myself. I’m often spinning many plates – at the moment I’m writing a book, working on a new animated series, working up an idea for another book, keeping on top of my Relax With Bricks films (I put an hour long film up on Youtube every day) and helping out with a campaign to reform the law on Dog Theft. I make a list every morning and work through it methodically. It’s the only way I can make sure I’ve done everything I need to do. I set myself a word count for the week rather than day as I know on some days I’ll be able to do more. I find it’s easier to stick to.
If you could choose to do anything what would be a dream project for you?
Oh, I’d love to write an adaptation for TV or screen. My lifelong ambition is to adapt Pickwick Papers for television. I’d die of happiness.
Do you ever suffer from a loss of creativity, how do you overcome this?
Ideas come constantly for me, which is great but that’s not the trick. The trick is to work out which ideas have legs or are commercially viable. It’s worth spending as much time as you can on an idea so I let seeds germinate and grow. Everything worthwhile takes time so if something isn’t working right there and then, I don’t sweat it. Solutions always present themselves. If I need a break, I go for a walk or build some Lego.
This has been a particularly difficult period for everyone in the creative and performing industries, what advice would you have for young people considering a career in these fields?
Whatever your chosen field – be it music or writing – if your creative field is one where you can create on your own, then get it down and get it done. Keep doing it. Nobody is brilliant from day one. Any creative career will be peppered with mistakes and failures. Everybody fails and learns. Fail again, fail better.
What are you looking forward to doing when the current restrictions are lifted?
I find myself longing for an old school weekend house party where shenanigans abound…..
Image credit of Emma Kennedy – Georgie Gibbon