Q&A with Rob Badcock, author of Big Frog
1. What made you choose to write in the genre you write in?
I didn't. Sometimes you don't know what kind of book you're writing until you're part way through. Big Frog was some five years in the making and over that period it went through a whole life cycle of its own to become the hero's journey in a dystopian world that it is now. I started off with two guiding principles: I wanted to write something which would be an easy, fun read for young adults; and I also set out to write something different.
At the first meeting with my publisher, Carol, I told her of my weekly masochistic ritual of turning to the Book Review section in the Sunday papers filled with dread that someone had got there before me. She smiled, paused, then replied 'I don't think you need to worry on that count, Rob. Nobody will have written anything like this.' To this day, I'm still not sure whether she meant this as a compliment...
2. What would your protagonist think of you?
Rib Meskitoe is fourteen. I am over forty. So in his eyes I will be very old.
He'd probably also be pissed off with me for not giving him good looks, a stunning soul-mate and a fast car. But then he wouldn't be interesting, would he?
3. Is there anything in your book based on real life experience or is it purely all imagination?
OK, so now it's confession time...
Whilst I indulge myself in letting my imagination run riot at times, I do also draw heavily on the wealth of observational material out there in everyday life. For example, when Rib finds himself in the closed, secret community of Middlemedes, he is playing unwitting witness to my thinly-veiled sideswipe at a popular family holiday destination. Two of my best mates also make guest appearances as quirky characters in the book. Therein lies a word of warning to all who know me!
4.Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
Not easy, this one. If I must choose, I feel it has to be Rika Latukartta, the enigmatic shapeshifter from Lapland. She wears her clothes black. She wears her hair short, flaming red. She never ventures far without a stay-freeze mini of Koskenkorva in a zip pocket. Call her a lap girl and you're dead. What's not to like?
5. If your book was turned into a movie, who would you want to direct it?
Edgar Wright, the man who does comedy brilliantly without sacrificing the genre, character or plot.
6. Twilight Zone or Outer Limits?
Definitely Outer Limits.
7. What's on your bedside table?
One reading lamp, green.
One copy of 'Wonder Boys' by Michael Chabon.
One half-finished mug of tea, now cold...
8 What book do you recommend everyone should read and why?
'Frozen Planet - a world beyond imagination' by Alastair Fothergill and Vanessa Berlowitz, the book of the BBC series by David Attenborough. At one level, a treasure of stunning photography - one of those books you just love to hold. But at another, a chilling climate-change message to us all of shrinking glaciers, rising seas and collapsing ice-shelves.
9 Are you a person who makes their bed each morning?
What makes you think I get out of bed each morning?
10. What makes you laugh?
The World Through the Eyes of Raj, our cat.
He stands at the front door, shouting at me to open it. I open it for him. It's pouring with rain. He stares at the downpour outside, hesitates, then backs into the house. He then runs through the kitchen and stands at the back door...
Big Frog is currently available @ Amazon