Alice M. Ross - The Nowhere Thief - Author Interview (Q&A) - Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books


Hello readers and welcome to our fourth interview. This week we are meeting the fantastic author, Alice M. Ross, who has recently had her debut children's book published (March 2023) by Nosy Crow. The book is called The Nowhere Thief but watch out as there really is a thief about. This book is surely going to steal your heart! We loved this story and wanted to find out more so check OUT the review. We hope you are loving this series of interviews - thank you all for contributing and reading. 

  • How would you describe your multi-verse adventure The Nowhere Thief?
The Nowhere Thief is a mind-bending multiverse adventure aimed at 9-12-year-olds that is also about finding your family. 12-year-old Elsbeth is stealing things from other worlds to sell in her family's antique shop but as a strange boy starts to follow her and the weather turns weird whenever she travels she starts to ask herself: does her gift come with a price?
  • Elsbeth and Idris have a special power where they can steal from other worlds. What would you like them to steal for you and why?
Well it's actually only Elsbeth that can steal things: Idris tries to but every time he does it the objects just disappear! His grandmother makes him feel bad about this. Obviously I wouldn't feel comfortable about possessing stolen goods myself, but if they did come across an interesting object by legal means I think it would be pretty cool to have a chamcha, which is a flying sort of cat that lives in Idris's world.
  • Which other world would you like to visit in the book and why?
I'd like to visit Victoria's world, where the sea is rising and children are sent on wilderness survival trips: maybe we could get some tips for our own world. I'd like to meet Victoria, who seems like she would be really cool!  
  • Do you have any plans for the characters after this book?
We'll have to wait and see! I definitely have ideas in my head of things that will happen to them, but whether that will end up in book form remains to be seen.
  • You have spent most of your time being a journalist. Can you share a favourite story you wrote or reported on? How do you think a good journalist can make a difference in the real world?
I've reported on lots of things in my career at the Financial Times but recently I've been writing more about climate change, and how investors can get involved - in fact I wrote a non-fiction book on this topic called Investing to Save the Planet in 2020. Journalists can definitely make a difference by highlighting people's voices when they're not heard that often. 
  • How do you juggle real-life with fantasy and do they both play important roles in your life?
Well, I guess it would be a bit weird if real-life didn't play an important role in my life! I have kids and cats and a house and all that grown-up jazz to tend to: I find they complement each other quite well right now but I do have to carve out certain times of the day to write or I'd never get it done! 
  • Which book or literary work made you think about the impact we have on the planet?
I did write a book myself about the impact we have on the planet, so I certainly thought about it then. I'm not sure I've ever read a fiction work specifically about climate change but I think it's interesting that this is becoming more of a trend in both adult and children's literature.  
  • What would you do differently if you were to write another book?
I'd like to say I would plan it better, but I'm not a huge planner of books - I do think that if you just write you come up with ideas as you go. That said I think it's a good idea to have your themes in your mind/some vague idea of what you're trying to do, so that's what I'm trying to do in the next book I'm writing: I know how it ends but not how it will get there!  
  • Finally three quick questions: favourite meal, place, and one wish for the future? 
My favourite meal has to be twice-baked potato - it is definitely my comfort food that my Mum used to make for me when I was a kid! These days I have it to cheer myself up or when it's a particularly cold day.
My favourite place is Berlin - it's such a cool city, and my kids are half-German so we spend quite a lot of time there.
My wish for the future is obviously to publish more books! I have lots of ideas and I just need to find the time to turn them all into novels!