The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ellie Irving

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ellie Irving

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Buy The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ellie Irving from Amazon.co.uk

Buy The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Ellie Irving from Amazon.com

Summary: We really enjoyed Ellie Irving's For the Record, an engaging story full of the best kind of English eccentrics trying to save their Jersey village from the bulldozers. It's charming and fun - just like Ellie herself!
Date: 12 November 2011
Interviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James

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We really enjoyed Ellie Irving's For the Record, an engaging story full of the best kind of English eccentrics trying to save their Jersey village from the bulldozers. It's charming and fun - just like Ellie herself!

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

Ellie Irving: I like to think of happy, smiley faces - readers of any age from say, 8, upwards, enjoying the crazyness of the story. And hopefully laughing at the odd joke (some of them very odd...) I try and write with a knowing nod to the adults reading, so I like to think it raises a smile among them, too.

  • BB: One of my favourite things about For The Record was the gorgeous setting of Port Bren - so what's your favourite fictional location?

EI: I'm going to have to say Narnia. Post the White Witch's reign, obviously, where everything is glorious and humans can gallivant about to their heart's content without time ticking on in the real world. The Chocolate Room in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory comes a very close second, though.

  • BB: What are you reading now and how are you finding it?

EI: I tend to read a lot of children's books, but I have just finished The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ by Phillip Pullman, which is only the third or fourth 'grown up' book I've read this year. I'm about to start The History Keepers by Damien Dibben, which I'm very excited about.

  • BB: Which of the 74 world records attempted in For the Record would you have most liked to be able to watch?

EI: I would have liked to have seen the 'Longest time to hold on to a galloping sheep' record, but I'm pretty sure that's the sort of thing you can see on youtube. Although it's not technically a record, picturing Walking-Stick Glyn attempting to recreate Pamplona's Running of the Bulls always makes me smile.

  • BB: If you could ask any other author any question, what would you ask and who would you ask it to?

EI: If I can go back in time and ask the question, I'd catch JK Rowling as she stepped off the train all those years ago and say, 'you don't really want to do anything with that boy wizard idea, do you? Let me take that off your hands.'

  • BB: Where did you get the inspiration for For The Record from?

EI: A few years ago I saw an article on Teletext about a village in Spain that broke the record for making the world's largest salad, and it just made me think, 'why would a village go to those lengths? Why bother?' It made me wonder what would happen if the village had to break a record, and what would be resting on whether or not they achieved it, and the idea sort of grew from there. I was pretty surprised that there haven't been similar stories about world records already, but then I guess I'm probably the only person in the world who still reads Teletext.

  • BB: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what's the soundtrack to For The Record? (I'm thinking Belle and Sebastian personally; they're perfect to listen to while reading it in any case!)

EI: I do listen to music as I write, though normally it's just the radio in the background. I did listen to the theme tune from Record Breakers with good old Roy Castle many, many times, though. Altogether now...'dedication's what you need...'.

  • BB: Who's your favourite character in For The Record?

EI: Simon was the first character I created, so he holds a special place in my heart. I love his kindness and his offbeat sense of humour. I love Luke's enthusiasm and determination, but if I had to choose, I'd say Grandad Barry. I LOVE him, special occasion toupees (Hanukkah) and all.

  • BB: Is there any book you'd recommend to readers of For The Record to keep them going while they're waiting for your next novel?

EI: I'm a massive fan of Frank Cottrell Boyce, so I'd recommend anything by him - Millions and Framed are my favourites. .

  • BB: What's next for Ellie Irving?

EI: I've just finished work on my second book, 'Billie Templar's War,' which is due out next year. It's about a girl whose Dad is off fighting in the Army, and her efforts to get the Queen to send him home from the war. Aside from that, I'm also working on other ideas and stories.

  • BB: Lots for us to look forward to then, Ellie - and thanks for talking to us.

This interview was kindly given to us by the ever-generous Ya Yeah Yeah

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