Interview with A Debut Author: MJ Howes, Author of FEED
M J Howes grew up by the sea in Norfolk. She now lives in a village near Loughborough with her husband and two children (no aliens) and works as a lunchtime supervisor at a primary school. She came up with the idea for FEED while on playground duty and Book Walrus caught up with her a week after its launch to ask her a few questions:
What made you decide to write for this age group?
I love writing for 10-14 year olds, it feels very natural. It fits FEED perfectly, lots of action and lots of scary moments. It’s nice to have this genre for the younger teens. The book also focuses on the important issues of friendship and trust. Probably helps too that my children fit into this age group, so I’ve got my own ready made critics on stand by
What are you most proud of about FEED?
What am I most proud of, probably the end product, the way the book has turned out. FEED went through many rewrites and changes, yet the heart of it has stayed the same.
What have been the highest and lowest points of your book’s journey?
This is an easy one to answer, the lowest point or points, has to be the rejections. I know every writer gets them, and I was told you’re not a proper writer until you’ve received your first rejection letter. Hearing that didn’t help, it still hurt.
The highest point is definitely when Chicken House offered me a contract. The best day ever and a dream come true.
What has surprised you most about being a debut author?
The biggest surprise has probably been the support of other writers and people in the book community, like yourselves. Everyone has been so friendly, like joining a massive new family.
What is the nicest thing anyone has said to you about FEED so far?
I think the nicest thing that’s been said so far is that I have a talent for storytelling. For me, that was a special thing to hear.
What have you done to celebrate the launch?
So far I’ve celebrated with family and friends, and I’m off to see my publisher next week.
Are you planning any school visits? If so, do you have any ideas what you’ll do?
I would love to do some school visits and talk to the kids. I haven’t planned what I’d do yet, but I think it would have to have an alien theme, wouldn’t it? Just as long as no spaceships come along and take us away!
Are you already working on Book 2? If so, can you tell us anything about it?
Yes, I am working on book 2, very exciting, that’s all I’ll say! I also have two other ideas in my head fighting for my attention, so I have plenty to keep me busy for a while.
Book Walrus loved speaking to MJ Howes and thoroughly recommends FEED to anyone looking for a good horror thriller. You can read our review here
You can also follow MJ Howes (@MJ_Howes) on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MJ_Howes