Thursday, 30 April 2015

Countdown to 7th May: Interview with Martyn Ford

I was a big fan of Martyn Ford's The Imagination Box - in particular Phil, the talking finger monkey, who is an AMAZING character. I was really pleased to get the chance to ask him some questions as part of the Countdown to 7th May blog tour. (Thanks to Daphne for co-organising with me, and for the gorgeous button!)

When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

I see adult humans. Which might seem weird. But that's fine - they can give it to kids when they're done. Oddly it wasn't until very late in the process that I actually considered that what children think of the book would be quite important. There are no lines, hopefully everyone will enjoy it.

If you could send an imagination box as a present to someone, who would you send it to?

My partner. She would be grateful and I could have a go on it too. It'd be a very helpful household gadget.

Asking what you'd ask for yourself if you had an imagination box seems a really obvious question so I was going to avoid it, but EVERYONE who's read it is desperate to know, so I'm bowing to peer pressure here - what would you choose?

Well, honestly, what I would create is actually something Tim makes in the book, so it's a bit of a spoiler. But it's sort of the right answer. Anyone who ponders the concept for long enough should get there. However, as a second choice, maybe something altruistic - a compact fusion reactor? Cure for malaria? I don't know. This is hard.

Why a finger monkey?

The fact you have to ask is kind of the answer. They're such underrated animals, I'm yet to meet anyone who isn't at least a little bit enchanted when they first see one. I remember thinking when I was coming up with the idea, years ago, that Phil might be a mouse. I thought I couldn't possibly make him a finger monkey because no one has ever had a talking finger monkey in a story. And then, wide eyed, I thought, 'Hang on a minute...'

The book's being published on Election Day - if you were Prime Minister, which authors would you want as Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Deputy PM?

Good question. Right, this might seem like cheating, but Winston Churchill for Home Secretary. He wrote books, so is eligible and this scenario is unlikely enough for me to assume that choosing dead people shouldn't be an issue. Generally he's well received, has held the position before and knows his way around a rousing speech.

Foreign Secretary would be Russell Brand. I half like him and think his heart is mostly in the right place. A senior cabinet position would help balance out his more outlandish, simplified ideas. Rein him in a bit.

Deputy Prime Minister would be Thomas Harris, because I like his work and he stays out of the public eye so it would be nice to learn more about him. However, I doubt he'd be up for it.
I feel the need to say that this government is going to be an absolute shambles though.

What books would you recommend to readers who enjoyed The Imagination Box?

Hard to say. But, without sounding too self-centred, it would make sense for them to read the sequel. I mean, thematically, it's so close. I literally cannot think of a book with more similarities.

What's next for Martyn Ford?

I'm working on an adult novel at the moment and have been for a while. Doing books takes ages. Long term though I'm just going to keep writing words and hopefully people will give me a bit of money for them. This, in turn, I will swap for things such as food, clothes and the like.

Jim blogs over at YA Yeah Yeah and can often be found on Twitter.


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