Friday, 27 September 2019

Hey Sherlock! Blog Tour - Q&A with author, Simon Mason

As part of the Hey Sherlock! blog tour, I'm so pleased to welcome the author, Simon Mason, onto the blog, to talk about the third instalment in the Garvie Smith Mysteries, which came out at the beginning of this month. 

1) Thank you for your time today, Simon. How did you become a writer?
Very cautiously.  I hid in my bedroom typing out poems about the agonies of being sixteen on an antique Underwood typewriter.  I was a terrible typist (still am) but I loved the way the metal keys slapped the paper.  Becoming a storyteller is a slightly different thing.  That began earlier for me, in the playground, trying to make the other kids laugh.  ‘You’ll never guess what Miss Hepplethwaite found in her knickers?’  That sort of thing.

2) Can you tell our readers a little bit about Hey Sherlock?
A posh girl leaves home one night in the middle of a thunderstorm and disappears.  Her posh mother can’t believe it has anything to do with ex-soldier PJ, come back messed up from Iraq, or flaky boy Damon, who says he just wants to get his head together.  But Sikh police detective Raminder Singh fears otherwise.  And Garvie Smith, drop-out slacker of Marsh Academy, knows it to be true.

3) What made you write a crime series for young adults?
Ignorance. I’d never written crime before, and wanted to see if I could do it.  I have the highest respect for crime writers, practitioners of the ancient art of literary hypnosis.  Moreover, I see that as a species we are deeply interested in wrong-doing.  When I started Running Girl, the first Garvie Smith story, there wasn’t much contemporary crime on the market for young adults (there’s more now).  Many teenagers I know like Agatha Christie’s stories which are less sexualised and violent than most contemporary adult crime. They love the mystery.  Thinking of those teenagers, I wanted to write crime mystery without so much gore (there’s some) set in the contemporary world.

4)  How did you go about getting into the mind of Garvie?
I am a member of The Teenagers Survivors Club – I lived with two for many years. Of all the astonishing things in the world – the 2012 Olympics, say, or Triple Heart Bypass, the Chrysler Building or Trump – teenagers are the most astonishing, I think.  Human exploding devices bursting out into the world in great starbursts of attitude and inventiveness and fantasy and humour.  I was interested.  I kept notes.

5) Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m interested in the world I live in.  I’ve rarely written about the deep past.  I particularly like people.  What bizarre creatures we are – the things we say and do, the things we believe.  The English, for instance.  Utter fantasists.

6) Do you plan more adventures for Garvie?
I do in fact have another story in mind.  Readers will have noticed with the three books – Running GirlKid Got ShotHey, Sherlock!– that each new story takes place immediately after the preceding one.  At the end of Hey, Sherlock!Garvie has to decide what to do with his life.  He’s growing up.  Things have changed between him and his mother, and between him and Inspector Singh.  The future looks strangely positive.  Then calamity strikes. 
Thank you so much, Simon, for joining us.
Make sure you pick up your copy today!

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