To say an awful lot of time, energy, imagination and cups of coffee go into creating a new novel would be an understatement. But. When it’s all done, dusted and appearing on book shelves … as an author how do you go about choosing your favourite scenes? The ones you feel are the real stand outs.
Tricky, huh? Well, I put that question to Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler (who, by the way are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go! – yes! Danger Mouse!).
These two writers should know a thing or two about dramatic scenes right? Well, I gave them the task of choosing just five favourite ones from their début fantasy novel (7-11), Defender of the Realm …
5 favourite scenes in Defender of the Realm
1. Meet the Defender and Hayley for the first time (Chapter 2 ‘The Ceremony of the Keys’) – this was one of those brilliant real things from British history that we discovered in our research – an actual ceremony to lock away the Crown Jewels which has taken place at the same time every night without fail for over seven hundred years. The Tower of London at night felt like the perfect place to meet the Defender for the first time and it’s all witnessed by Hayley who will become our hero’s best friend and fierce ally.
2. Alfie learns his family’s BIG secret (Chapter 9 ‘The Other Tower’) – there’s nothing quite like a massive revelation to throw your hero into turmoil! What surprised us was how funny it was too. I mean, what do you say when someone tells you you’re a superhero!
3. The Black Lizard attacks the Boat Race (Chapter 14 ‘There’s Something In The Water’) – this is one of those set pieces that we couldn’t wait to write as soon as we thought of it! The idea of the famous race being disrupted by a massive whirlpool and collapsing bridge felt pretty epic to us! It also gave us a chance to show more of Alfie’s younger sister, Ellie – someone who we imagine becoming more important as the series progresses.
4. Alfie meets Hayley (Chapter 16 ‘Rooftop Rescue’) – Alfie is trying his best to be a convincing, tough-talking superhero, but Hayley is so smart she sees through his act almost straight away. And before they know it they’re both being chased by helicopters!
5. The Coronation (Chapter 28 ‘Battle Royal’) – the culmination of Alfie’s journey – can he find his courage, accept his duty and defeat his enemy, the now fully-evolved Black Dragon, or will the Kingdom be lost?