John Connors was born and lives in Liverpool and his first novel, Elemental has just been released on Amazon. It is the first in a series of books called Heart of the World.
We popped over to Liverpool for a coffee and a chat…
Tell us a bit about your new book…. what is it about?
It’s about a thirteen year old boy, Tom Allenby, whose parents move unexpectedly to a small village called Rooksbourne, which turns out to be the place where the elemental energy of the entire world flows towards. He discovers that when in possession of a piece of rock he can control some of this energy and is plunged into an adventure against forces intent on using elemental power for their own ends. There’s lots of action and danger and the whole thing is rooted in reality. No elves or dragons, but things that just might be lurking in those woods nearby.
Is it part of a series? Are you planning any more?
It is the first of a series called Heart of the World and there are several more planned.
What inspired you to write the book?
The idea came about ten years ago when global warming was top of the news agenda and I wanted to write something that involved nature in some form. The original tag line was `everything is connected` reflecting how we are all sharing this small planet and what we do affects everything and everyone else. To turn it into a story that would be exciting I thought of an energy that is generated by the world’s activity and then the idea that all this elemental energy would have to go somewhere, hence the village. The story also reflects the TV I grew up with in the 1970s where strange goings on would happen in rural places. I also wanted to write something that was a change from urban stories or novels with supernatural or mythical things in them.
Who do you think will enjoy reading the book?
It is aimed at the 8 – 14 age group but I think some older teenagers who enjoy reading will definitely enjoy it and some adults too. The joy of writing children’s stories is that you are not so restricted; as long as you start in some sort of reality and then extrapolate it kids will go with it whereas adults tend to lose that sense of wonder. Their reaction is often `that couldn’t happen` whereas a younger reader will go `wouldn’t it be great if that did happen`. For a writer that is inspiring.
When did you start writing books and why?
This is the first book I’ve written- but I’ve written it about six times! The original version was very different and made the classic mistake of having too much going on; I got two other books out of the content I cut! It’s taken a decade of writing in my spare time to produce the novel I’m happy with. Before this I have written a lot of reviews and articles for fanzines and my blog about other people’s work and I thought it was time I put my own creativity on the line by writing my own book.
Which authors, dead or alive, inspire your writing?
People in the literary world don’t like to hear this but I think one of the reasons it took me so long to even think about writing a book was that I didn’t have a particularly literary youth. Apart from the classics that everyone reads at school most of my fiction came from television and films. I was a huge `Doctor Who` fan and writers like Robert Holmes who worked on a lot of the best known 1970s stories have been an inspiration for this book as well as serials like `Sky`. I think the two main catalysts though were the success of the Harry Potter books and also the return of `Doctor Who` in 2005. They both show that writing essentially for younger audiences can still be credible and have something to say. Russell T Davies and JK Rowling are both geniuses in that respect. Both of these re-awakened a lot of people to the world of children’s storytelling which obviously most of us had forgotten once we grew up. I think that connection is always there and sometimes if you see or read something it sort of rewires it.
When is your book available to purchase and from where?
For more information on Elemental and forthcoming books go to www.heartoftheworldbooks.co.uk