Hugest welcome to Robin Stevens, the detective mind behind an MG series that is becoming HUGELY popular amongst this age group … and one or two adults too!
Murder Most Unladylike and Arsenic For Tea feature Daisy and Hazel, two young sleuths who find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery plot. Their third adventure, First Class Murder (click link to pre-order), is soon to be released.
Tell us about you in 25 words or less.
Well… I’m a lifelong writer who’s obsessed with books, words, history and murder. And buns.
What makes you happy?
All of the above, especially if it has to do with books! All I need to do is step into a book store and I’m home.
Where have you always wanted to visit, but haven’t made it to … yet?
I’m absolutely obsessed with Eva Ibbotson’s romance novels. I’ve already made a pilgrimage to Vienna because of them, and now my ultimate literary destination is Manaus, in Brazil – it’s where A Company of Swans is set, and I want to visit it so much. But I’m not sure whether it’d be so romantic in real life…
Where is your favourite place to write?
I’m not sure ‘favourite’ is quite the word, but my most usual writing spot is on the morning commuter train into London. Probably if I could pick I’d sit in a café in a train station and watch the world go by as I wrote. I’ve got a huge thing for trains and train stations (see my third book) – I just love the idea of travel.
Have you always been fascinated by murder mysteries? (I hear you even named your pet Watson.)
Oh yes! I think it probably began with Sherlock Holmes (the first proper murder mystery I was ever exposed to, aged about 8), and it’s been going strong ever since. I’m just so fascinated by the why of murder – why would anyone hurt another human being like that? – and I think I’ve been trying to work that out all of my life.
What’s the best thing about being a published author?
I’ve been amazed and delighted by the way the characters I made up for myself, in my head, have been able to jump into the heads of my readers, and become meaningful to them. Every email I get from fans is just incredible – I sort of can’t believe that other people are reading my books, and I always have a few seconds of shock when I remember that Daisy & Hazel are out there in the world.
What’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked?
My most common reader questions are 1) Have you ever killed anyone? And 2) What’s your favourite kind of cake? For the record: 1) No and 2) coffee and walnut.
What’s your worst habit?
I say yes to EVERYTHING. I’m very enthusiastic. Which can be both good and bad!
What was the best thing about going to boarding school? (Were there plenty of midnight feasts?!)
There were fewer midnight feasts than advertised, but the good bits really were like having a never-ending sleepover with my best friends. Daisy & Hazel’s friendship is absolutely the centre of the books because that’s what my school friendships were in my life –incredibly important and strong.
Your favourite word(s)
Refurbish. Herbaceous. Sofa. I love the sound words make. I’m not sure there’s any more reason than that!
Can you give us a glimpse / peek / hint at your current WIP (I could bribe you with a cake!)?
It might change, but at the moment the first line of Gunpowder, Murder & Plot is:
We were all looking up, and so we missed the murder.
Did we forget anything?
Bunbreak. Never forget bunbreak. (Actually, you offered me a cake, so it’s fine).
Just for fun
Tea or coffee? Coffee! In real life, I’d always choose it.
Paper books or e-books? I’m totally fine with e-books, but I love paper books. I love holding them. I’m also obsessed with cover finishes.
Cake or chocolate? Cake. And also chocolate. Don’t make me choose.
Write or type? Type! Everything happens on the laptop.
Poetry or prose? Prose (it can be poetic too!)
Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin? HUFFLEPUFF. For life!
Hot or cold? Hot. I’m a California girl, I need warmth!