Oh, and the fact that I get to work from home.
What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?
The sporadic income. And the way that multiple deadlines always seem to hit at about the same time.
Writers are sometimes influenced by things that happen in their own lives. Are you?
Definitely. Many of my stories start out with me taking an experience and using it as a starting point — exaggerating it, expanding on it and blowing it up out of all proportion.
My current series is You Choose, published by Random House Australia. These are multiple-path, interactive kids books where the reader is placed into the story and has to make choices along the way. They are inspired by my childhood love of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. The first four books — The Treasure of Dead Man’s Cove, Mayhem at Magic School, Maze of Doom and The Haunting of Spook House — were published last year. Books five and six — Night of the Creepy Carnival and Alien Invaders From Beyond the Stars — will be out in May this year. And books seven and eight — Super Sports Spectacular and Trapped in the GamesGrid — will be published towards the end of the year. Each of these books is a separate, stand-alone story, so I’m getting to cover a whole variety of genres.
The Gamers books, on the other hand, form a trilogy that really does need to be read in order. It’s the story of two teenaged thieves, Tark and Zyra, who are characters inside a computer game. In book one, Gamers’ Quest, they don’t realise they’re constructs in a game. By the time you get to book two, Gamers’ Challenge, they know they’re in a game and they want to find a way out. And in book three, Gamers’ Rebellion, they get out into the real world… of course, it’s not quite what they expect!
I still have a big soft spot for Life, Death and Detention, which originally came out in 1999. The book was published again in a new edition in 2012 by Morris Publishing Australia. I updated all the stories from the 1990s into the 21st Century. It was an interesting process, doing the updating, fixing up a bit of unclear prose, but resisting the urge to completely re-write the stories. I wanted to make the setting more relevant for today’s teens, but without altering the original intent of the stories.
Having said that, were someone to offer me a cottage in the south of France, overlooking a vineyard, I wouldn’t turn it down. ;-)
Five words that sum you up.
George was recently invited to attend the 2015 Somerset Celebration of Literature.
Here is his intro vid - very entertaining!