Hey there word nerds!
Today I have the pleasure of hosting Kevin Brooks on the show!
Kevin is a critically acclaimed young adult novelist whose first book, Martyn Pig, was named a Publishers Weekly “Flying Start” selection. Kevin has written many books since then including Black Rabbit Summer, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Carnegie Medal, and The Bunker Diary, which won the Carnegie Medal in 2014.
His most recent novel, Born Scared, is a terrifying thriller about a 13-year-old boy named Elliot confined to his home by incapacitating fear. But then on Christmas Eve, a mixup at the pharmacy leaves him with not enough pills. His mother must go out into the snowstorm to get more, and when she doesn’t come back Elliot has to venture out after her on his own.
This book really resonated with me on so many levels and I’m sure it will resonate with many of you as well.
So listen in as Kevin and I talk about this amazing book, and learning how to embrace the fear of writing not just on the page but as writers.
In this episode Kevin and I discuss:
- Tackling the deeply, dark reality of mental illness on the page.
- How to deal with “analysis paralysis” and keep writing.
- Creating drama and suspense when your character is in a very confined space.
- The technique of shifting between 1st and 3rd person POV, and how to do it right.
- How to use the design aspects of writing to enhance your story.
Plus, Kevin’s #1 tip for writers.
About Kevin Brooks
Kevin Brooks is a critically acclaimed young adult novelist whose first book, Martyn Pig, was named a Publishers Weekly “Flying Start” selection and his second novel, Lucas, won the 2004 North East Book Award.
Subsequent novels include (but are not limited to) Candy, The Road of the Dead, Killing God, Black Rabbit Summer, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Carnegie Medal, and The Bunker Diary, which won the Carnegie Medal in 2014.
His latest novel, Born Scared, is now available from Candlewick Press, who will also be releasing his book Dogchild in the United States in 2019.
Kevin Brooks lives and writes in Essex, England.
To learn more about Kevin and his work check out his author page on the British Council website at literature.britishcouncil.org/writer/kevin-brooks.
From the moment of his birth, Elliot’s life has been governed by fear of almost everything, even of his own fear—a beast that holds him prisoner in his room. The beast is kept at bay, though not eliminated, with a daily regimen of pills.
But on Christmas Eve, a mix-up at the pharmacy threatens to unleash the beast full force, and his mother must venture out in a raging snowstorm to a store that should be only minutes away. Hours later, when she still hasn’t returned, Elliot sees no choice but to push through his terror, leave the house, and hunt for her. What happens if the last of his medication wears off and the beast starts scratching at the doors of his mind? Everyone has a breaking point—will Elliot come to his?
With plot twists and turns that keep readers on the edge of their seats, multi-award-winning author Kevin Brooks offers a high-suspense exploration of fear and what it means to truly be afraid.
If you decide to check out Born Scared or Kevin’s other recent book Dogchild we hope you’ll do so via these Amazon affiliate links, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!