Our very own Toppsta reviewer, Bella (age 11), interviewed Adam Baron, author of much-loved children’s debut Boy Underwater. Here’s what he had to say:
When did you start writing?
When I was very young. Stories always drew me towards them and I wanted to see if I could create my own. I have always tried to understand the world through stories.
Why did you decide to write a kids book after writing for adults?
My children told me to and I always do what they say. I hope that’s true in your house.
Boy Underwater tackles some big issues; it made me laugh a lot and also made me sad. Was it easy to make these subjects suitable for children?
I just wanted to write a truthful story and Cymbeline let me do that. These things were happening to him so I thought they were suitable for younger readers. I have a lot of faith in young readers.
How long did it take to write Boy Underwater?
About a year but then I had to edit it and change a few things. Writing novels is a big undertaking.
Did you write your book drafts on the computer or by hand?
On a computer. My handwriting is so terrible that I can’t even read it myself.
How did you come up with the characters’ names? Especially Cymbeline as it's not a usual name.
There is a lot you can learn about writing but character names just come. Cymbeline is called that because that’s his name. It’s part of the magic of writing. I didn’t invent Cymbeline, I found him.
Is there any of you in Cymbeline? He is very determined, quite funny and a little bit naughty.
You have just described my mum actually. She was very much like Cymbeline. She was naughty when she was young but had such a good heart. And she never gave up.
What do you do when you’re not writing books?
Think about writing books. I never stop. There is always a story whirring round in my head, even when I’m swimming, playing tennis, running, cooking or anything else I like to do.
Did you enjoy writing when you went to school?
Oh yes. I loved reading too. English was my favourite subject followed by History as that’s full of stories too.
Do you have any ideas for more books that might be coming out?
I’m halfway through one now and I won’t say much about it. But you may get to learn more about Cymbeline and his friends.
Thanks for your questions Bella!