It’s been ages since I last had a guest post here. Damned deadlines!
Today I’m especially pleased to be talking to DC Green, children’s author, surf journalist (he’s written more than 2,000 non-fiction articles) and all-round cool (not to mention exceptionally funny) guy.
In the fictional world, DC is best known for his humorous children’s trilogy about the boy genius Erasmus James – the boy who doomed the universe! – and all manner of gross, foul and disgusting friends and enemies – to say nothing of mutant chooks! Take it away, DC.
Welcome to Stop Two of the DC Green Grat Siege Blog Blitz Tour!
Ian: Hi, DC. Tell us about your new book, Erasmus James and the Grat Siege.
DC: Sure! The easiest way to do that is to quote the back page blurb…
Grats! Giant rats!! – surround my castle.
My troops defend bravely. My mates – mutant chooks, ninja horses and grommets – are also out-numbered, starving and stinky. Grins dripping blood, they turn to me for inspiration.
To Erasmus James, the boy who doomed the universe!
Ian: That sounds evilly exciting! This is the third Erasmus James book. Do readers need to have read the first two books in the series?
DC: No. All the books in the series have standalone stories. Relevant details that happened in earlier books are always explained.
Having said that, for the most satisfying reading experience, I’d recommend reading all three books in one big, demented readathon. That will also be satisfying for my bank account!
Ian: Good one, DC. Money – can’t do anything with it, can’t do without it. What inspired you to write Erasmus James and the Grat Siege?
DC: It’s such a buzz writing the character of Erasmus James (or Raz for short). All three novels in the series are written in Raz’s first person voice. He loves playing with language, making puns, cracking jokes and insulting other characters – all of which is a LOT of fun to write – and hopefully, to read!
Raz also makes disastrous decisions, which makes for interesting plots. In ‘Erasmus James, King of Kid’sParadise’, Raz becomes the king of a tropical island. The power definitely goes to his curly head as he orders his subjects to smooth his beaches with toothbrushes! Raz is horrified when his subjects rebel – and even more horrified when he learns they are all due to be eaten by giant rats when they turn 16! Raz evacuates everyone off the island, but leaves behind his dad’s galactic zapp machine.
So in Grat Siege, I was eager to see how Raz would face the consequences of his blunders. Could he become a true leader and not just a power-crazed king? I also was keen to reveal the amazing secret behind the galactic zapp machine, to learn the fates of my favourite characters from the first two books and to write about an IMAGINATION WAR!
Ian: My daughter used to have pet rats so I know all about their villainous habits. That sounds even more exciting! What inspired you to make a siege the central element of your story?
DC: When I was a boy, I read and DEVOURED The Lord of the Rings! I was always especially fascinated by the second book in Tolkein’s trilogy, which features the siege of Helm’s Deep. A siege, of course, is a situation where a small army is surrounded in a castle or a fort by a much larger army. The large army hopes to starve the small army into surrendering. As much as I loved The Lord of the Rings, I always thought more could be done with the siege scenario.
The best stories are all about conflict, and a siege is surely the ultimate in conflict! In Grat Siege, the Golden castle is encircled by a massive army of giant rats – and yes, they do attack! Often!! Behind the castle walls, food, water and ammunition all run dangerously low. The tension rises as characters argue and squabble. Should they surrender? Should they go on the attack? Should they eat the intelligent chickens and rats? Should they just go CRAZY? All these questions and more will hopefully be answered!
Ian: I loved The Lord of the Rings too. In fact, one of the reasons I started writing was that I couldn’t find more epic fantasy like it. What inspires you to write?
DC: I simply love writing! It’s as important to me as eating, breathing or surfing.
I’m also continually inspired when I perform school shows around Australia. I feel fantastic when a student approaches me after one of my shows and says something like, ‘Your book is the first book I’ve ever been able to finish, DC. And I’ve finished it seven times!’ or when a teacher emails me to say that the standard of creative writing has gone through the roof after my author visit. Hopefully, my visit contributed!
Ian: I’m sure it did, and of of the greatest things about writing adventure for kids is knowing that one has helped to encourage a love of reading. How do you come up with story ideas?
DC: I mix ingredients! I’ll give you an example. My stepson’s favourite stories always featured either superheroes or ‘gross stuff.’ So I decided to mix those elements together and ended up with Stinky Squad: a team of gross superheroes whose powers include wall-melting farts, acid vomit, reality-warping burps and super-sticky pimple pus! Next I added the most important ingredient for any story: conflict! In the case of Stinky Squad, that meant a rival team of mutant teens, an evil prime minister and 20 million brain-eating zombies!
I also find story ideas through the creation of interesting characters or worlds, from my own life, or through non-fiction sources such as newspapers or science articles.
Ian: Reviews of Grat Siege? Superlative praise? Tell us about it.
DC: Yes, I’ve had some fantastic pre-release reviews. Here are three:
‘Hilarious and action packed… an unforgettable book of beasts, battles and bizarre bodily functions.’
– Dee White, Kids’ Book Capers.
‘Grat Siege is full of page turning terror, amazing creatures and amusing one-liners that will appeal especially to boys, holding their attention until the very last full stop.’
– Sally Hall, Needtoreadthis.com
‘Nothing can compare to this… It’s impossible to predict just what will happen next. It’s crazy fun wrapped up in mindgames… Extraordinarily punny, (it) will spin you around until you lose all sense of who you are and what you’re doing there. In a good way. You’ll get dizzy in this whirlwind universe.’
– Claire Saxby, Aussiereviews.com.
Ian: Great reviews, DC! Bizarre bodily functions – we can’t have too much of them. Thanks for dropping by – and all the very best for Grat Siege. I hope you sell a million.
DC: Thanks for hosting me, Ian! I’m stoked to return the favour. Besides being the first author I ever hosted on my blog, your Grim and Grimmer Quartet is the epitome of unrelenting conflict and I’ve been a huge fan of your Three Worlds books for many years.
Ian: Thank you for telling me. I’m thinking about the next book in the series right now.
Below is a list of links and more blog tour stops …
The DC Green Grat Siege Blog Blitz Tour Itinerary!
Topic 1: Blog Tour Mania!
DC Green, Saturday May 12
Topic 2: Inspiration and Ideas
Ian Irvine, Sunday May 13
Topic 3: Book Giveaway
Kids Book Review, Tania McCartney – Monday 14 – Sunday 20
Topic 4: DC Green’s Books
PIO – Monday May 14
Topic 5: DC’s Amazing Life
Buzz Words, Tuesday May 15
Topic 6: Writing Great Characters
Robyn Opie, Wednesday May 16
Topic 7: Plotting and Planning!
Jill Smith, Thursday May 17
Topic 8: Surf Journalism
Chad Kolcze, Friday May 18
Topic 9: Random Questions
Helen Nolan, Saturday May 19
Topic 10: Sneak Peeks
Jackie Hosking, Sunday May 20