I am delighted to be starting the Blog tour for the adorable little robot Boot by interviewing author Shane Hegarty about his new book and life as a writer! I've also just made this gorgeous middle grade adventure my Book of the Week in the South Wales Evening Post (review is posted after the interview).
But first Hachette has challenged the bloggers on the book tour to discuss what piece of old tech holds the biggest memory for them.
I have very fond memories of my old bright red Sony Walkman. I loved listening to my mixed tapes that I put together myself!! It was a stress free system. I still don't know how to download music!!
Interview with author Shane Hegarty
Can you describe your book in once sentence.
A toy robot wakes up in a grinder and with only two-and-a-half memories escapes to go find its owner.
What inspired you to write this book?
Two things really. Firstly, I look at all the advances in robotics and artificial intelligence and wonder what it will be like in a few years time if we make things that know they're
being thrown away. And secondly, Boot is sort of like my children, thinking the world is simple only to discover things are more complicated than they seem...
What is your favourite part of the book?
Oh that is so hard to say! I love it all. But there is a part late in the book where Boot takes control of a certain problem, and I'm very proud of it, and how illustrator Ben Mantle
draws it. But no spoilers!
What character do you most relate to?
Boot is like a child, and even though I am now a very, very old man (according to my kids) I think we all still have those childlike worries, curiosities and longing for friendship
inside us even as adults.
Can we have a sneaky clue what Boots next adventure will be about?
It's called The Rusty Rescue, and all starts when Boot and pals go in search of a new nose - only to meet a robot that's been stuck doing a repetitive job in a Testing Lab for
a very long time.
As a professional writer what has most surprised you that you didn't expect?
Just how amazing the young readers are when I meet them in schools, bookshops and at festivals. They're an incredible audience, never shy of enjoying themselves or asking great
questions and saying crazy things.
What's a typical writing day for you?
I have an office that I escape to and try and work a 9-to-5 day - but there's often a lot of other stuff to do with organising events, planning things, emailing, watching too much
YouTube, and dreaded tax forms that get in the way! So when I can write, it's bliss.
Who is your favourite literary hero or heroine?
I have always loved Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, because there's nothing more appealing to me than an accidental and hapless adventurer. He woke up thinking
it would be a normal day and quickly found himself on a spaceship after the Earth had blown up. What a start to a story!
Which is your favourite bookshop?
I don't want to forget any of the great bookshops I get to visit! There are so many big and small that I've had the pleasure of visiting in lots of different countries. I will give
a shout out to my the only bookshop in my town - Skerries Bookshop - which I think is the smallest I've yet to visit. Theres room for about 5 people at one time, and half the space is given over to children's books. It's owner Paddy is a legend in my town.
Your favourite quote?
Me and my son are always quoting lines from Hot Fuzz at each other because it's one of our favourite films, so any line from that (although some of them are a bit rude...)
SOUTH WALES EVENING POST CHILDRENS BOOK OF THE WEEK
BY SHANE HEGARTY
robot, Boot has been accidentally thrown away and must find his
owner, Beth in a city full of danger. Can Boot find his way home
armed with only two and half memories and a band of rusty robot
has-beens? Children will love the gadgets galore, excitement and
friendships as well as Ben Mantle's evocative illustrations
throughout. A heart-warming quest bursting with adventure, empathy
and humour. WALL-E meets Toy Story. ISBN 9781444949360 PB