Would you know what to do if Hertford was suddenly taken over by zombies? Luckily, we know the very man who does! CHARLIE HIGSON is one of the stars of our festival and you can meet him on Oct 4th at 2pm! We caught up with Charlie for a chat last week:
SO CHARLIE, CONGRATULATIONS ON ‘THE HAUNTED’ WHICH IS THE 6th BOOK IN ‘THE ENEMY’ SERIES – ANY MORE?
Yes, I’m 1/3 through the very final book. It’s been 7 years of my life and the main thrust of the series is about kids surviving on the streets of London after a virus has wiped out all the grown-ups. The grande finale will be a big battle kids vs. zombies.
WHAT DO YOUR CHILDREN THINK OF YOUR WORK?
Well, I have three boys and I’ve always treated them like guinea pigs. Luckily, they’ve really liked my work. When I was writing the Young James Bond series, their friends actually thought I was pretty cool. Which was a relief.
FROM 007 TO ZOMBIES… WHY ZOMBIES RATHER THAN VAMPIRES OR MONSTERS?
There’s always been a fascination with the macabre and ghoulish and kids especially love the idea of a dead body coming back to life. Also, zombies are people – so we have a strange connection with them. Plus, zombies have a great cult following – comics, films, books. These days, in the world at large we have a true fear of disease, overcrowding, of different people invading our world – and I suppose zombies represent all of that in one handy package.
YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY AN EXPERT – WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND WE DO IF A ZOMBIE IS HEADING OUR WAY?
You wouldn’t believe how many people out there actually do have a Zombie Survival Plan! I certainly do. I’d head to the Tower of London – it’s pretty impenetrable and inside there’s a well, plenty of living space – and all that armour!
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR BUDDING YOUNG AUTHORS?
You must write for yourself – don’t try to write for anyone else, to impress anyone. Don’t imagine someone looking over your shoulder. Most of all, write the kind of story that you yourself would want to read.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BOOKS AND WHICH OTHER AUTHORS DO YOU RECOMMEND?
I read – a lot. I’d recommend Anthony Horrowitz and Darren Shan. When I was growing up, though, my favourite books were the Professor Branestawm series by Norman Hunter. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a comedian.
Kids’ film would be The Incredibles. For adults: The Wild Bunch
FAVOURITE FLAVOUR CRISPS?
Cheese and onion
FAVOURITE FLAVOUR ICE CREAM?
Anything in the chocolate spectrum
FAVE TEACHER WHEN YOU WERE AT SCHOOL
Ah! Bob White –he was my art teacher at Sevenoaks
CAT OR DOG?
TOWN OR COUNTRY?
Oh that’s hard. Well – the city.
INVISIBILITY OR TIME TRAVEL?
Now if you asked me what superpower I wanted, I’d say invisibility. But if I had to choose between that and time travel, I’d go for time travel
BEST SMELL IN THE WORLD.
That’s really hard. No it isn’t. That would be one of my own farts.
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