Taran Matharu

The Na No Wri Mo novel writer des­tined to be­come a best- seller

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

What would you write as Sum­moner: The Novice’s cover blurb?

Fletcher is just an or­phan train­ing as a black­smith’s ap­pren­tice when he dis­cov­ers he has the rare abil­ity to sum­mon demons from an­other world. Chased from his vil­lage for a crime he did not com­mit, Fletcher trav­els with his de­mon to the Vo­cans Academy, where the gifted few are taught the lost art of sum­mon­ing.

How long did you work on it?

I wrote the first half in one month, tak­ing part in a novel writ­ing chal­lenge known as Na­tional Novel Writ­ing Month ( Na No Wri Mo), where the writer must com­plete 50,000 words in Novem­ber. The sec­ond half of the book was writ­ten dur­ing the fol­low­ing few months, most of it while in the back of a bus as I back­packed in the Aus­tralian Out­back.

How did you build the world of Sum­moner: The Novice?

I took in­spi­ra­tion from my own ex­pe­ri­ences as a teenager, his­tory, mythol­ogy and my favourite el­e­ments from the fan­tasy books, films and videogames that I loved. It was a world that I had been hunt­ing for on the shelves of dusty book­stores, but could never find. In the end, I had to cre­ate it my­self !

Which SF/ fan­tasy au­thors would you like to be com­pared to in a dream re­view?

So many au­thors have in­spired me to write: Dar­ren Shan, Ur­sula le Guin, Phillip Pull­man, Terry Pratch­ett, Eoin Colfer, JRR Tolkien… To be com­pared to any of them would be a dream come true.

“If you, as a ‘ se­ri­ous’ film­maker, think you put more love into your char­ac­ters than the Russo Broth­ers do Cap­tain Amer­ica, or Joss Whe­don does the Hulk, or I do a talk­ing rac­coon, you are sim­ply mis­taken” Think su­per­hero scribes don’t take things se­ri­ously? James Gunn has a few words for you.

Sum­moner: The Novice is pub­lished on Thurs­day 7 May by Hod­der Chil­dren’s Books.

Taran’s book con­cerns the im­por­tance of loy­alty, trust and friend­ship.

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