Sunday 5 August 2012

Meet Simon Rose: Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer

This year, I have been working on a fantasy novel because my son told me he wanted me to write a “boy book”.  While I’m not giving out too many details just yet, I am starting to look for publishers.  I’m also beginning to notice fantasy writers. 

I met Simon Rose through my writing group connections.  He has published 7 science fiction/ fantasy books for middle grade readers.  He is also Canadian, which is exciting and I will be reading one of his books as part of the Canadian Reading Challenge.  He kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions regarding writing.  Here is what I learned from Simon:


1.  Why did you become a writer?

I've probably always had ideas for stories and was often writing, although I was never sure if anything would come of it. Once I had children of my own, I came into contact with children's books again for the first time in many years. Picture books initially, of course, but then early chapter books and novels. Some were very impressive and influential, others far less so. When I decided to try my hand at writing novels and stories, I found myself drawn to the types of things I used to read as a child in the science fiction and fantasy genre.

2.  You have published a good number of titles.  Do you have a common theme in your books?

My books are in the science fiction and fantasy genre for middle grades, around ages eight to twelve. You can see full details of each of them, including excerpts and synopses (and you can even listen to recording of my readings) at

The Alchemist's Portrait is a time-travel story, in which Matthew journeys through the centuries using magical paintings which act as doorways into the past, in order to save the world from the clutches of an evil alchemist. The Sorcerer's Letterbox, another time-travel tale, is based on the famous mystery of the Princes in the Tower about Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, who were supposedly murdered on the orders of Richard III in 1483. 

The Clone Conspiracy is a science fiction thriller involving clandestine laboratories and secret experiments, while The Emerald Curse, based on my own reading of comic books while growing up, concerns Sam's adventures in a bizarre, and at times deadly, superhero universe. The Heretic's Tomb is set in the medieval period once again, this time during the Black Death in 1349.
The Doomsday Mask is in the science fiction and fantasy genre. It's a fast-paced adventure about ancient civilizations, World War II, mysterious artifacts, and shadowy secret societies.
The Time Camera is a science fiction adventure about advanced technology.

3.  I noticed you cross over between fiction and non-fiction as well as between middle grade and young adult books.  Is this mainly because of your own interests?

The novels have been in the science fiction and fantasy genre mostly because I'm interested in that, I guess. I usually choose non-fiction projects based on interests or if it's something that I think I'd enjoyed writing and researching about. The non-fiction titles I've completed so far have been on a wide range of topics such as science, biographies, animals, architecture, history, the military and culture  

 4.  Who inspires you to write?  

One of the best things about writing for kids is that I can write about the kinds of things that fascinated me when I was young. Stories can be very imaginative if they are for children, which makes writing them so much fun. And, of course, in science fiction or fantasy, more or less anything you can imagine is possible, as you craft stories involving ancient mysteries, the unexplained, the paranormal, science fiction, time travel, parallel universes, alternate realities, weird and wonderful characters, and a multitude of "what if" scenarios.

I read lots of science fiction, as well fantasy writers and ghost stories while growing up. I also read a tremendous number of comic books, in which the stories took me across the universe, into strange dimensions, into the land of the Norse gods or had me swinging from the New York rooftops. At high school, I studied a lot of history and have retained my interest in the subject up to the present day. I also read voraciously about ancient civilizations, mysteries, the supernatural, and the unexplained. 

5.  What is your favourite part of the writing process?

I'm not sure, but perhaps when that initial spark of an idea becomes a full story and you can't get the thing typed up fast enough. There are also times during the writing process when, after struggling with certain parts of the text for a while, it suddenly all comes together and you then read it over and realize its pretty impressive.  

 You can learn more about Simon Rose through these links:

1 comment:

  1. Nice to meet you, Simon. Great interview. We need more "boy books" out there. Congrats.