Author of Banff Springs Abbey, Suspiciously Reserved: A Twist on Jane Austen's Emma, Expectations: A Continuation of Pride and Prejudice, and Subgirl. This blog is dedicated to all things reading and writing.
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
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 simon-rose.com. 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
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
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: