Interview with Maz Evans
The Book Review Society is thrilled to get an interview with the ingenious Maz Evans! Her hit book ‘Who Let The Gods Out’ has received over 20 award nominations. Her new books Vi Spy and Scarlet Fife are also as brilliant. Enjoy!
1. Who inspired you to start writing?
I was very lucky that I always had really great teachers who noticed quite early on that I really enjoyed writing. I always wrote little stories, from as early an age as I can remember. I was always a massive reader too, so was very inspired by the authors I read - I always wanted to write books like Roald Dahl and that's really what I'm still trying to do.
2. What was your favourite book when you were 10?
Easy - Matilda. It was first published when I was nine (I'm that old) and I read it and read it again. My Grandma was really cross - she took me to buy it from the shop and I'd already read half of it at a friend's house, I just couldn't wait!
3. What is your favourite of your characters you have written about?
Oh that's too hard - it's like making me choose my favourite child! I love all my heroes, of course - so Elliot and Virgo, Vi and Russell and now Scarlett Fife (who's coming atcha in May!). Baddies are great fun too - I loved writing the awful Patricia Horse's Bum! But there are funny characters too that are such fun, In Vi Spy there's a character called Siren, who is a reformed supervillain with terrible personal hygiene - she's one of my new favourites to write...
4. How did you come up with the genius idea of Who let the Gods out?
You're very kind! It was a combination of two things - something I love (Greek mythology) and something I know (caring for a relative). Somehow these two very different things came together in my strange little book! Originally no-one wanted to publish it because it was a bit odd - but luckily Chicken House liked it and it turns out that lots of children agree, so PHEW!
5. Were any of the Gods inspired by friends or family?
The squabbling between Athene and Aphrodite was inspired by my daughters who fight all the time! The other Gods not so much, but other characters are drawn from my own life. Patricia was a horrible woman who cut in front of me at the cheese counter at the supermarket! And Mr Boil is based (a little too closely) on a teacher from my old school...
6. What do you do if you have a writers block?
Well luckily, I've never had writer's block. But I regularly have writer's I-don't-want-to-write-today! So I treat it like working out and cleaning my house and all the other things I don't really want to do. I MAKE MYSELF! I have lots of tricks to make sure I do my work - I say I only have to do a little bit, because I know once I'm into it, I'll keep going. Or I bribe myself with biscuits - that works particularly well!
7. What is your favourite place to write?
I moved house last year and have my own office for the first time ever, which I love! But I really miss writing out and about. I love going to the library and my very favourite place to write is a coffee shop in the town where I live. But I'm not sure how much of that is to do with writing and how much of it is to do with their very yummy cakes...
8. What does reading mean to you?
A rare opportunity to stop writing! I don't read nearly as much as I want or need to do as I've had six books to write in two years, as well as my three children to take care of. But it's a chance to rest and/or excite my brain, which I love. Reading is the key to infinite universes. And I hope my books help some children to open the door.
9. Sum up VI SPY in 3 words?
Fun. Family. Farts.
Check out our reviews of Who Let The Gods Out and VI Spy!