What a great way to celebrate the festive time and to give your kids a funny book to read. This series of books by Matt Brown (illustrated by Lizzie Finlay) are smashing stocking fillers for kids and big kids with a crazy sense of humour. There are four books, so far, in the series to get your teeth stuck into. Why not check out the author's website to find out more? mattbrownwriter.com
Welcome and thank you very much, Matt Brown, for taking the time out to answer some festive-style questions for Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books.
What makes The Compton Valance series of books tick?
Whenever I write a Compton Valance book the question I’m essentially trying to make myself laugh as hard as possible. I figure that if it makes me laugh, it’ll make other people laugh. I think that is what makes the books tick.
If your next book was illustrated, and you could choose any illustrator, who would it be and why?
My grandad was a brilliant watercolour artist and, while he never did any illustrations, I would have loved to had the chance to work with him. I think he would have got a huge kick out of the process.
Which book characters/authors would you have at a literary New Year dinner party and why? (N.B. You can travel back in Compton Valance's time machine if you want!)
That’s easy, I would have all the authors that I have had on my Word Monkeys podcast because they’re the authors I love reading. Character-wise I would have Bernard from Not Now Bernard, Mina Murray from the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and Dracula), the Artilleryman from War of the Worlds, Nymphadora Tonks, Mr Wednesday from American Gods, Commander James Bond, Miss Marple, and Dr John Watson.
What book would you recommend to readers to get them into the winter/festive spirit?
The Box of Delights and A Christmas Carol. We’ve got a version of A Christmas Carol that we read aloud, as a family, on Christmas Eve.
Everyone loves books as gifts which book would you like to receive this Christmas?
I’ve asked for loads but in particular the Chrysalids by John Wyndham and Mysteries of the Quantum Universe by Thibault Damour and Mattieu Burniat
What's the meaning of Christmas for you and your characters?
Being with family and friends and trying to eat my bodyweight in turkey sandwiches (I make very good ones).
What's your favourite Christmas film?
It’s a Wonderful Life and Die Hard 2.
Did you read as a child, if so what captured your reading attention?I did read, although I was not a voracious reader (I am now). I read comics and at various points in my childhood had the Beano, the Dandy, Whizzer and Chips and Roy of the Rovers delivered weekly (not at the same time). But the books I remember me and my friends getting and swapping with each other were called Fighting Fantasy books and I can remember loving the Warlock of Firetop Mountain and the Sword of the Samurai the most.