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Reader Q&A with Ross Welford

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When We Got Lost in Dreamland is the brilliant new novel, for readers 10+ by Ross Welford. Ross' middle-grade novels have sold over 100,000 copies and been shortlisted for many awards including The Costa Book Award and his latest book is funny, moving and full of imagination.

Eleven-year-old Malky and his younger brother Seb are able to travel beyond their wildest dreams, with their "Dreaminator" machine. But impossible dreams come with incredible risks... and soon Malky has to undertake an adventure in Dreamland alone, to save Seb.

Toppsta reviewer, Sam, aged 11 loved the book, saying: "It was very hard to put this book down... I would recommend this book to everyone". We gave him the chance to ask Ross some questions. Read on for our full Q&A to find out about the book, Ross' writing and his inspiration.

You can also read an of the book extract here and there are downloadable teaching resources available here too.

Toppsta
2021-02-24
Reader Q&A with Ross Welford
Reviewer, Sam, aged 11

1. What tools do you use to write your first draft? Do you write it in a notebook or do you do it straight on to a computer?

I have hardly written anything substantial in longhand since I left school. I use Scrivener to write my books, it’s good for organising chapters, but I still don’t really understand it. I have a notebook as well for scribbled plot maps which seldom mean anything the next day.

2. Do you take inspiration from other authors?

It’s probably impossible not to, although when I’m in the middle of writing, I find reading fiction quite distracting.

3. Out of all the books you have written who is your favourite character?

I think Grandpa Byron from Time Travelling With A Hamster, my first book. He seemed to arrive on the page, with this robes and his voice, and tell me, “You can invent characters like me!”

4. What do you do when you are not writing books?

I read them a lot! I also practice and read about magic tricks, I look after my (rather lovely, if I may say so) tropical aquarium, I play the piano, walk our dog, go for a run. And watch Netflix. (Too much Netflix!)

5. In the book When we got lost in Dreamland I liked the character Susan, is she based on a real person?

I had a very clever and sensible friend at school called Susan, so I think in part Susan Tenzin is based on her!

6. How long does it take to write a book from coming up with a great idea to publication?

Almost exactly a year. I’m now writing the book that will come out in January 2022.

7. What is your favourite food?

Curry. I know, that’s about as vague as saying “pie”. But I like pie as well. I cook a lot, mainly curries and pies.

8. Did lockdown give you a great opportunity to keep writing?

This whole pandemic has been distressing and disorienting and I have hated lockdown, but I can still work which is a privilege.

9. Have your books been translated into other languages? Have you ever visited any other countries to show off your books?

Yes! I think I’m now in fifteen foreign languages now. Most of the obvious ones, and some less-expected ones. Farsi. Albanian. I love thinking of people in some far-flung place reading about Geordie kids in Whitley Bay.


Toppsta
2021-02-24
Reader Q&A with Ross Welford
Book pages Placeholder Book

When We Got Lost in Dreamland

The landmark new novel from Ross Welford, one of the fastest-growing and most critically acclaimed middle grade authors in the UK, this funny, moving and brilliant sixth book cements his position as the most exciting storyteller around for readers of 10+.

When eleven-year-old Malky and his younger brother Seb become the owners of a "Dreaminator", they are thrust into worlds beyond their wildest imagination.

From tree-top flights and Spanish galleons, to thrilling battles and sporting greatness - it seems like nothing is out of reach when you can share a dream with someone else.

But... impossible dreams come with incredible risks, and when Seb won't wake up and is taken to hospital in a coma, Malky is forced to leave reality behind and undertake a final, terrifying journey to the stone-age to wake his brother...

View Book COMPARE PRICES

When We Got Lost in Dreamland is out in paperback now. Find out what our reviewers thought below and by clicking on the book.

"There’s some quite serious parts too but overall I found it funny and wanted to keep reading the book every time I had to turn my light out."
Nourishedrohan, aged 10

"It’s inventive, funny and has a lot of heart." 
Mrs C_KS2

"I have given 5 stars to every single Ross Welford book that has been released, and this one was no exception."
dullhilarity

"What a wonderful book!"
Cholstein, Teacher Reviewer

Toppsta
2021-02-24
Reader Q&A with Ross Welford

24th February 2021

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Featured Book
The Boys
The Boys

BOOK OF THE MONTH: A beautiful picture book, following the adventures of four boys as they grow up, from the creators of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize winner, The Girls.

View book
Featured Books