Tales Q&A With Gabrielle Kent
I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for the wonderful second book in the Alfie Bloom series by Gabrielle Kent, Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief!
Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief was released on the 2nd June 2016 published in paperback by Scholastic and is MG Fantasy aimed at 8 – 12 year olds and beyond.
This book is the second in the series with the first book being Alfie Bloom And The Secrets Of Hexbridge Castle.
A huge thank you to Faye Rogers and Scholastic for having me on this wonderful tour.
For my stop on the blog tour I have had the chance to put some questions to the lovely Gabrielle Kent!
When Alfie Bloom inherited a castle and a centuries-old magic, his dull and lonely life was changed forever. But Alfie’s new life has come with dangers he never could have expected. When Ashford the butler is kidnapped in the middle of the night, the castle comes under threat from a terrifying enemy. Trapped inside with only his twin cousins and best friend Amy, it’s up to Alfie to defend his inheritance and prevent a terrible fate from befalling the whole of England!
Thank you so much for joining me today! I am so excited for the second Alfie Bloom!
Can you start by telling us Who Alfie Bloom is?
Alfie Bloom is an eleven year old boy living in a cramped basement flat with his inventor father. His dad has to work several jobs to support them and, what with his dedication to his experiments in his spare time, Alfie doesn’t get to spend much time with him. All of this changes for Alfie when he inherits a castle full of wonders which has been magically sealed for centuries. The inheritance reveals many secrets, including the strange circumstances surrounding Alfie’s birth. He was born during a magical timeslip where Orin Hopcraft, the last of the great druids, hid an ancient magic inside him which others seek but should never be used. Needless to say, that burden starts to take its toll on Alfie over the course of the series.
Can you tell us a little about the second Alfie Bloom story Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief?
You can’t set a series in a castle without having at least one siege! The Talisman Thief sees Alfie, Amy and his cousins trapped in the castle with a terrible enemy at his gates. Everyone who read the first book wanted to know more about Alfie’s mysterious butler, Ashford. This novel should satisfy their curiosity. I hope everyone will be surprised by the revelations.
Which of your characters from the Alfie Bloom books would you most like to spend the day with?
Granny Merryweather. She is very much based on my Irish Granny Dempsey. We’d spend the day milking cows, collecting eggs, riding the tractor and doing manual labour on her farm, then she’d give me an archery lesson – she’s an amazing shot! In the evening, over a feast in the farmhouse kitchen, she’d tell me tales of bizarre local legends and spooky tales of the fair folk.
What was your favourite scene to write?
I’d love to tell you, but it would give away a major plot point, so my lips are sealed!
Will we be getting any more Alfie adventures?
Yes! Scholastic signed me for three books and I am currently finishing editing the third in which Alfie and company travel back to the 1400’s. I have more ideas in mind just in case Scholastic ask me for more books.
We would love to know a little bit more about you! Can you give us 5 random facts we don’t know about Gabrielle Kent?
- I lived in an extremely haunted house in Bishop Auckland between the ages of one to five. I still remember some of the very strange things that happened there!
- This is a bit gross, but I have an extra layer of skin growing across my eyeballs – apparently only people who sunbathe lots or live in desert countries have this. I never sunbathe and I’ve always lived in England. My brother says it’s because I’m a lizard.
- Summer is my least favourite season, I always groan when I open the curtains to see that it is bright and sunny outside. I adore dark nights, and wind, rain and thunderstorms make me very happy. People tell me they think that’s weird, but I think they’re the odd ones for getting so excited about the sun.
- In my first week at secondary school our geography teacher asked us to write a story about an explorer on an uncharted island. In my story the teacher was the leader of a band of bold pirates battling the dangers of the island whilst looking for somewhere to bury their ill-gotten gains. I included a picture of the teacher in a pirate hat dancing on the grave of the former pirate captain. I didn’t realise the story was supposed to be serious! The teacher read my story to the class, then screamed at me with steam pouring out of her ears until my face caught fire. Little did I realise that she was actually helping me with my research – there is so much of that teacher in the character of Miss Snitch, Alfie’s headmistress in The Secrets of Hexbridge Castle!
- I used to work in the computer games industry making car-racing games for PC, Xbox and Playstation. Vin Diesel recorded the voice of the main character in one of the games.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve just started The Great Chocoplot by Chris Callaghan, another North Eastern writer. I’m not very far through it but am really enjoying it so far!
What is your favourite book of 2016 so far?
Most of my reading this year has ranged from books written in the late 1800’s to present day with only a couple from this year so far. I really enjoyed Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens, but I still have Katherine Woodfine’s Jewelled Moth and Abi Elpinstone’s Shadowkeeper waiting to be read.
Are there any authors you would like to collaborate with? Who?
She’s a games and screen writer rather than an author, but I’d love to collaborate on a project with my best friend Rhianna Pratchett. She’s an amazing writer who recently reinvented Lara Croft for the new Tomb Raider games.
I’d love to work on something with Neil Gaiman, but I think David Walliams would be the most fun to collaborate with. I’d like to take a little peek inside his brain, although I’m not sure I’d ever recover.
When starting a new book or idea what does your writing process look like?
I have to put aside some thinking time. That involves getting away from home for a few days and going on lots of walks and visiting unusual places. When I was coming up with ideas for book three I spent a week in an ecopod in a forest in Argyll overlooking a loch with a castle in the middle. I created a spider map of lots of ideas and started linking some of them up. When I had a rough idea of what the book was going to be about, I wrote a few lines to say roughly what would happen in each chapter. Things always change as I’m writing, but that initial map is invaluable.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I am a massive fidget. I can’t sit at a desk with my feet on the floor for longer than a minute, I curl my legs up under me, stretch them out on the desk, then lie on the floor, then on the bed, then on a different chair, then in front of the fire, then back to the desk – all over the course of an hour!
Are there any exciting plans for the rest of 2016 or 2017?
The Secrets of Hexbridge Castle launches in the US in October, so I’m really excited about that! There is also quite a bit of interest in the film rights for the first book so I’m keeping my fingers firmly crossed.
When I hand over my third manuscript in a few weeks time I will be at the end of my contract with Scholastic, so I’m hoping they will be interested in continuing the series. If they feel it has reached a natural end, I’ll be finishing with a half written novel which has been waiting in the wings for a few years now. I’m really looking forward to getting back to those characters.
Thank you so much for answering all of my questions Gabrielle!
You can buy a copy of Alfie Bloom and the Talisman Thief (Alfie Bloom #2) – here
Or why not add it to your Goodreads here
About Gabrielle Kent
Gabrielle Kent has worked in and around the videogames industry for fifteen years and currently lectures in games art and design at Teesside University. As well as teaching, she directs and presents Animex, the UK’s largest annual games and animation festival, bringing young people together from all over Europe. Gabriellehas written and contributed to a number of articles, papers and broadcasts on gaming and is a regular judge on the Games BAFTA awards. In 2006 she was voted one of the Top 100 most Influential Women in the games industry by US based Next Gen magazine.
You can find out more about Gabrielle Kent on her website – www.gabriellekent.com
You can catch up or folow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!
Thursday 2nd June
Friday 3rd June
Saturday 4th June
Sunday 5th June
Monday 6th June
Tuesday 7th June
Wednesday 8th June
Thursday 9th June
A huge huge thank you to Gabrielle for answering all my questiont and to Faye Rogers and Schlastic for organising!
Have you read any of the Alfie Bloom series? What did you think? Are you excited for book two in the series? Who is your favourite character? I would love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!