I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
I always wanted to write, but I never thought I had the patience to write a whole novel. I think it was partly because I hadn’t had to right idea yet. I really wanted to write fantasy novels, but I couldn’t think of anything original. Then I decided to turn to my other love, sci fi, and it made it a lot easier.
I came up with the (very rough) idea for Moondust and then it all started to go from there. I used to write in the evenings and at weekends and before I knew it, I had the start of an actual book (it was terrible, but it was a book!).
Then I started to submit the book to agents and the real work began!
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
Yes. Though I was lucky that my first book found a publisher, as many don’t.
I contacted every literary agent in London (which is hundreds!) and only got a handful of replies. You have to learn to cope with rejection when you’re an author. You have to keep pushing, and keep believing in yourself no matter how long it takes.
And it does take a really long time to get published. From first submitting my book to agents, to Moondust appearing on bookshelves was about two and a half years. It felt like an eternity to me!
Could you describe literature in three words?
Opens other worlds
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
Donald Trump’s Art of the Deal… Ha! No, actually I think you should be open to anything when it comes to reading, even if it’s challenging to you. Books are full of ideas, not all of them good, but it’s best to be informed.
What’s your favorite book?
Oh, it’s impossible to pick one favourite book! I love Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, the new Scythe series by Neal Schusterman is becoming a classic for me, and anything written by Robin Hobb or Neil Gaiman.
I think the book that had the most impact on me when I was younger was The Lord of The Rings as it introduced me to a fantasy world that felt real.
So my quote would be ‘Not all those who wander are lost.’ From The Fellowship of the Ring.
EBooks or paper print?
Print, print, print! There’s nothing better than the smell of a book. Also, I love bookshelves, and the art on the book covers and wandering around bookshops. All that would be lost if we all chose EBooks! I do understand why people have them though, my holiday suitcase is always half clothes, half books.
What inspires you?
Everything can inspire me, from overhearing a conversation in a coffee shop to watching a film. I always have a notebook handy for those moments of inspiration, as my memory is terrible.
The worst time is when an idea pops into my head in the shower and I have to run across the house in my towel to write it down before I forget it!
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be?
Oooo, that’s a hard one! Ok, so Aragorn from LOTR’s as he was my first literary love. I’d like to go to the pub with DEATH from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. And The Fool from Robin Hobb’s Farseer books as they’re one of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever read.
What’s your worst nightmare?
Weirdly, it would be being trapped in a place like the Lunar Base in Moondust. I love the outdoors, and the idea of a claustrophobic, artificial, grey and black place like the moon, would be the worst. Also, there are too many rules on the Lunar Base, I’m not good at following rules.
The best decision of your life was?
To change my job and make more time for writing. If I hadn’t done that then I’d still be trying to write the first draft of Moondust.
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
Yes, I’m working on something new right now. I can’t say much but it involves space debris and a talking gecko!
I’ll be adding more info on the new book on my Instagram account @gem_fowler