March 23, 2012

Author Interview: Charles London

Today I welcome Charles London to the blog for a second time! I had the pleasure of hosting him earlier and reviewing We Are Not Eaten by Yaks.  
Check out my review HERE and his guest post HERE.

This time around he has answered some questions for us. But first about his books.

We are Not Eaten by Yaks (An Accidental Adventure #1)
Eleven-year-old twins Oliver and Celia Navel live on the 4-1/2th floor of the Explorers Club with their father, Dr. Navel. Their mother, Dr. Navel, has been missing for years. So when an explorer shows up with a clue as to where his wife could be, Dr. Navel drags Oliver and Celia to Tibet to find her. Once there, the twins fall out of airplanes, encounter Yetis, travel through waterfalls, and end up in the Demon Fortress of the Warrior King where they-just possibly-might find their mother and save their father from the Poison Witches. Thing is, they would much rather be watching television. And if their trip doesn't work out as planned, the twins could end up as slaves to Sir Edmund Thitheltorpe III, an evil explorer with breath that smells like boiled carrots, who has it in for the whole Navel family. 
We Dine with Cannibals (An Accidental Adventure #2)
When we last saw Oliver and Celia Navel, they had fallen into the clutches of Sir Edmund S. Titheltorpe-Schmidt III and were doomed to spend their entire summer vacation doing his deadly bidding. In their second unwanted adventure, "We Dine with Cannibals," Oliver and Celia will travel from the ruins of ancient temples to the shadowy forests of the Amazon. They'll need all their reality TV survival skills when they ride a llama, race the rapids, and even fly an airplane If that's not enough excitement for you (it is decidedly too much excitement for Oliver and Celia Navel), they'll be forced to learn the proper etiquette for a cannibal feast and confront the strangest and most brutal rite of passage ever devised by human imagination: dodgeball.  
 And We Give a Squid a Wedgie comes out in June!!! 

Welcome Charles! We'll start with the easy questions first. 

Point of View: 1st or 3rd: 3rd person, but very much from the main characters’ point of view 

Boy or Girl main character: Both! A brother and sister

Genre: Comedy-Adventure

More boy or girl book (stereotypically) I really don’t think there are girl or boy books. The Accidental Adventures sometimes gets called a ‘boy book series’ but I think there are girls who like wedgie jokes and fast-paced action and boys who just want to read a love story (the Accidental Adventures don’t have a love story, alas). I would say these are silly books, and silly has no gender! 

The Serious Questions!

Why MG instead of any other age level?
Because when I was in that age group, I wasn’t much of a reader and I wanted to write the kinds of books I wished I’d had. You never love a book as much as you do at that age…you also never hate a book as much, so I guess it’s a gamble! 

For you MG novel what part are you most excited about? What part do you think they'll enjoy reading the most or was the most fun to write?
I love the snark! As danger and adventure come flying at my reluctant heroes, Oliver and Celia, they never lose their wit, their eye-rolls, and their snarky comments. I loved writing scenes like that, where they’re hanging off the edge of a cliff, bored, or battling the Yeti and wishing they were watching reality TV instead. The absurdity of their attitudes is my favorite part.

When you were in middle school kind of student were you? Did you write then? Did you read? 
I was a pretty indifferent middle school student…not the best in the class, not the worst and not all that engaged with school. I was a day-dreamer and it took a lot of work for my poor teachers to keep me focused. I loved to write and to make up stories, but it wasn’t until later that I really became a devoted reader. Of course, once I discovered writers I loved, I became a complete book addict and remain one to this day. But back in middle school, I much preferred telling stories to studying them, and making my teachers crazy to actually doing my homework. Somehow, with patience, they got me through and I may have even learned a thing or two along the way.

And because it's the owl my standard question always is: WHOOO do you admire when it comes to writing? OR WHOOO do you like to read or really enjoyed in HS or middle school? 
I read a lot and widely, so my taste is all over the map. Writers I admire, for younger readers: I think Gary Schmidt is a genius. He can evoke so much power in a simple moment perfectly described. The same goes for Katherine Patterson. I also think Suzanne Collins is a master of plot and pacing and I learned a lot from reading her. MT Anderson’s Feed is one of my favorite YA novels, but Patrick Ness is probably my favorite YA author. The Chaos Walking trilogy haunts me still. In high school, I discovered Jack Kerouac and Ken Kesey at the right time for a teenage boy and then the assured story telling of Russell Banks got me hooked on novels. Don Dellilo’s books showed me how a sentence can pop like fireworks and right now, I think David Mitchell is probably the most exciting living novelist. I have never read a book quite like his Cloud Atlas. Not an easy read, but it does astonish. At the same time, I love Stephen King, so my taste really is all over the place! That’s the great thing about books…there are so many, you never have to choose and you can learn a little something from every one of them, even ones you don’t like. It’s a bit of magic. Good books can change your life for the better, while bad books are entirely forgettable.

The Fun Questions! (based on what 7th graders do!)
Do you chew gum? Yes or No If yes favorite kind? 
I love candy, but for some reason, I hate gum with the raging heat of a thousand burning suns. I have no idea why. It’s not rational. But I really hate gum. I wasn’t always this way. I used to love Bubblicious Watermelon. But things change and now I am thoroughly anti-gum.

Do you text? d00d! OMG! I <3 2 txt! (yes, I text…a lot)

Was school lunch just as yucky then as it is now?! 
Oh it was so much worse when I was in school. There wasn’t any sort of movement to make it healthy or fresh. The pizza was barely pizza: the cheese was radioactive yellow and the tomato sauce seemed to have come from the lab of a mad scientist trying to destroy the world, one lunch tray at a time. I did like the tater tots though. I still like tater tots. And pizza, but only when it’s good. I live in New York city, so it’s easy to find good pizza. Although, New York City school lunches, from what are hear, are still pretty awful.

Thank you so much for visiting today!  And I agree - the main characters attitudes (aka snark) is fantastic!


  1. This sounds like such a cute series! My kids would love it.

  2. Oh so true about the love or hate a book at that age! And I must get your series read! Thanks for doing the interview.