The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Dr Kris J Sime

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Dr Kris J Sime


Summary: Jill thought that Dragon's Flight was FUN and that's not something she often says, so she had quite a few questions for authgor Kris Sime when he popped into Bookbag Towers.
Date: #
Interviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy

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Jill thought that Dragon's Flight was FUN and that's not something she often says, so she had quite a few questions for authgor Kris Sime when he popped into Bookbag Towers.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Dr Kris J Sime: I see this book as a family affair, with children being read the story by their parents or grandparents.

  • BB: We heard that you wrote Dragon's Flight in order to dedicate it to your children at your wedding. We think that's a lovely thing. Tell us more about it!

KJS: I’ve always talked fantasy stories with my children and we love drawing treasure maps. So I had in mind the story for a few years but my fiancé and I thought it would be a lovely idea to write it for the wedding. So I sat down with my children and told them I wanted to write something for them. We talked and sketched some ideas, invented names for characters and islands. I gave myself just under a year to add their ideas into what I’d already got in my mind. The wedding day itself was amazing and my three children and three of their cousins received books on the day.

  • BB: Why dragons?

KJS: Why not? They are powerful, yet graceful. I also wanted something that could have a lot of mystical powers, to allow me to pull the children from their own world, what better than a dragon. I wanted them to be as sentient as the human characters in the story. To give the dragon pups an exploratory, childish manner, and Sahara a very mothering nature. I also liked the backstory of an ancient dragon war.

  • BB: Flaming sword or protective bracelet? If you had to choose one, which would it be?

KJS: I’ve grown up with Star Wars, Conan and Dungeons & Dragon so even I would expect me to choose a flaming sword. But when the arrows start flying I’d grab the bracelet and do my best to protect everyone.

  • BB: Will we ever encounter the world of Bigoshi Mokappa again?

KJS: Oh I do hope so. I always had in mind two or three stories there. I had a lot of original ideas I didn’t put in the book, lots of interesting islands I’ll need to weave into the next one. I’ve written some notes for another story so I hope to start in earnest in the next few months. I’ve also got a few other books in various stages of writing, both for an adult market, a survival horror and a black comedy thriller, so completely different to Dragon’s Flight

  • BB: What was your favourite book as a child?

KJS: A memory from secondary school was when a friend lent me The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I loved it, read all the sequels, got hold of the original radio series, and watched the TV series. I think it was the humour. The mad characters and situations whirling round a dumbfounded Arthur Dent in his dressing gown, simply sublime. I pick it up again every few years and rattle through it in a few nights. Reading it as you mature is great because you see something different every time you go back to it.

  • BB: Which three books should every child read?

KJS: I’m going to try avoid the usual books and pick ones that influenced me as a child/teenager.

I’d start with a fantasy book and I remember trying to read The Hobbit when I was too young and getting put off by it but C. S. Lewis was perfectly accessible. However, rather than going with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe I’d go with The Magician’s Nephew. I just remember the wood with the pools each leading to a different world. That blew my mind, anything could be possible in those pools. Children thrive on the freedom of thought and this gives them every opportunity.

My second and third books are both written for an older audience, I think I read them as I hit my teenage years. The second is The Day of the Triffids. This started my love affair with survival horror stories, but I feel this is still accessible for a younger adult audience. As it starts unfolding the reader is trying to survive as well and thinking their way out of the situations. This would be a great one for the classroom, talking through the options.

My third book is Flight of the Phoenix. Just loved this one when I was growing up, it just got your imagination going on how you would escape the situation. It’s simply written and therefore accessible but it asks so much from the reader. It has a great reveal near the end. I wish I’d also done it at school, there are so many ideas to talk through in class.

  • BB: How different is writing from your day job? What are the challenges?

KJS: Oh very different. I work in a chemistry lab, which I love. I get to analyse things using all sorts of high tech equipment like electron microscopes. I have to write reports but there is no place for imagination in my day job, everything has to have evidence and proof behind it. So it’s a big challenge swapping rules for imagination. I have to swap science fact for science fiction.

  • BB: How did you find the process of self-publishing? Would you do it again?

KJS: I wanted a hardcopy of the book ready for my wedding, so decided to self-publish to do it in time. So the process I went through was to get a friend, who is a freelance editor, to read and check through everything. I found that a difficult process as it was the first time I’d shown it to anyone else and so I was scared of any feedback. Getting the book onto Amazon was surprisingly easy with a few hoops to jump through, like registering and formatting the document correctly. But pretty soon it was appearing on Amazon and the hard bit of marketing started. Yes I would do it again, but I’d love to get a publishing house involved, it gives you a lot of backing and then they can help with the marketing.

  • BB: What's next for Dr Kris J Sime?

KJS: Well apart from work on Monday I’d love to put pen to paper again. I’m also trying to promote Dragon’s Flight. I’m finding it difficult to push my book, self-publishing obviously doesn’t open any doors for you, so I’m searching for ways of promoting my little gem.

  • BB: And we wish you lots of luck with that, Chris. Thanks for chatting to us.

You can read more about Dr Kris J Sime here.

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