Reader Q&A with Steve Cole

Author Steve Cole and Reader Alex, aged 11

Swarm Rising is a thrilling science fiction action-adventure story for ages 9+, written by bestselling author Steve Cole and British astronaut Tim Peake.

The exciting story, about a boy kidnapped by alien-life forms, features real-life space-age technology and has already been a huge hit with our reviewers who have given it 5 stars since the hardback came out last September. 

"I really enjoyed reading this adventure story...The story made me feel like I wanted it to be real."
Tepps, aged 11 

"this book is BRILLIANT and I don't use that word a lot."
5KH, aged 9-10

"The story is very atmospheric, thrilling and occasionally chilling which I really love."
Twixyjoop, aged 13

"The story was really exciting and I couldn’t put it down! Would 100% recommend this to everyone!!"
JJ8, aged 11

One of these lucky reviewers - Alex, aged 11 - got the chance to ask author Steve Cole some questions about writing, space and working with Tim Peake,

Check out their brilliant Q&A below. The paperback of Swarm Rising is out now.

Reader Q&A with Steve Cole

reader Q&A with Steve Cole

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I always enjoyed playing with words, but started off as an editor of books and magazines and wrote in my spare time. Gradually the writing started to take over more and more. I never imagined I would end up a full-time writer, but that’s what I’ve been for the last 20 years.

How do you turn your idea into a book? Do you brainstorm your ideas and characters and write sections or do you have a different way?

I think when a good idea comes into your head its gravity will pull other good ideas to it – characters and possible plots. The idea has to sit there at the back of my brain, growing quietly without me thinking about it for too long. Eventually it’s ready to be written out, and that’s when most of the ideas appear.

What is the advice could you give to someone who would like to write their own book?

With any writing, never settle for the first thing you write. Be ready to edit. Try to get used to thinking of different ways of saying things. Above all, enjoy writing. Then, even if you don’t get published, you’ll still have had lots of fun! 

Do you think Aliens exist?

Definitely. The universe is way too big for us to our planet to be the only one with life in the universe. But I’m not sure if we’ll ever meet aliens for the same reason – all the other worlds that may have life are just too far away. It would take hundreds or thousands of years to reach them.

What was your favourite subject in school?

English. No question!

How did you get to work with Tim?

Tim and I both have agents at the same company (an agent is someone who helps writers deal with publishers). When Tim had the idea for Swarm Rising he wanted to collaborate with a children’s author and my agent thought we would get along. She arranged a meeting for us, and we have been having the best fun working together on Swarm Rising and its sequel. Tim has such brilliant ideas, it’s a pleasure to bounce them about between us. 

Have you always enjoyed writing? 

Yep. I still have lots of Doctor Who stories and other homemade books from when I was aged 8, 9, 10 and onwards into my teens…

How long did it take you to write Swarm Rising?

Tim and I did a lot of thinking and talking about it over Zoom during the first lockdown, and slowly it took shape! In terms of the actual writing, it was a few months, swapping things between us. 

Will there be another book with the same characters?

There will, out in August. It’s called Swarm Enemy!

Was it difficult to write a book with someone else?

It can be, but I have to say working with Tim was such a treat because he has a natural talent for storytelling and is very attuned to how to get over the plot. He can take a scientific idea and treat it with imagination and filter his own imaginative ideas into solid science. That’s when the best kind of science fiction is born!

Reader Q&A with Steve Cole

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Book pages Placeholder Book

Swarm Rising

For fans of Alex Rider, Young Bond and Cherub, this exciting action-adventure is the first children's book from astronaut Tim Peake and bestselling author Steve Cole, and is based on space-age science and technology.   

When Danny is kidnapped by Adi - who can run through brick walls and make cars drive on water - he realises that all humans are in danger. Adi is part of a super-advanced hive mind, the Swarm, which intends to protect the Earth from the environmental catastrophe caused by the human race.

Adi - Alien Digital Intelligence in the form of a girl - can bend the laws of physics and control digital data, but as a digital being she wants to know what it's like to be human. Which is where Danny comes in.

But what exactly is the 'help' the secretive Swarm is offering? Can Danny and his friend Jamila help Adi stop the Swarm Agents and give humanity a second chance?

'Hi-powered, hi-concept and hi-jinks. Swarm Rising has it all. I loved it.' Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl .

Book pages Placeholder Book

Swarm Enemy (Swarm Rising Book 2)

Perfect for fans of Alex Rider, Young Bond and Cherub, this fast-paced action-adventure is the second thrilling story from astronaut Tim Peake and bestselling author Steve Cole. The alien Swarm is rising once more...
When Danny's best friend Jamila goes missing, and no one remembers she exists, Danny knows the alien Swarm are back. They've tracked the digital energy signals Jamila has been giving off, and want to delete her. But it's not just the Swarm who are after Jamila. Her super-powered DNA can be used to clone super-strong beings, and human scientists and aliens know this. Danny needs to find her - and a new version of Adi, the friendly Swarm scout - and together they must stop both humans and aliens from destroying the human race.


First published


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