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Guest Author - Josh Lacey

Josh Lacey is the author of The Dragonsitter, Island of Thieves and Grk series. His first book for children, A Dog Called Grk, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. Find out more about his plans for the future, writing tips and more about his latest book The Sultan’s Tigers.

If you could sum up The Sultan's Tiger in just 3 words, what would they be and why?

Hunt the tiger! 

The Sultan's Tigers is a novel about a hidden treasure: a jewel-studded golden tiger that once belonged to Tipu Sultan, one of the greatest rulers of India and one of the few men who defied the British invaders. Tipu Sultan was obsessed with tigers. He had real tigers roaming around his palace; he had tigers carved into the handles of his swords and daggers; and he had a throne surrounded by eight priceless tigers carved out of solid gold. When he was killed and his palace was looted, those tigers disappeared. In the book, Tom Trelawney and his uncle travel to India to track down the last missing tiger. 

There is a lot of action-packed adventure in both Tom Trelawney adventures. What's been your biggest adventure so far?

Tom Trelawney's life is much more exciting than mine! I have never been in a car chase or shot a ruthless gangster. I've never broken into a museum or run away from the police. And, sadly, I've never found a treasure worth five million dollars. 

You have created some great characters. Uncle Harvey in particular is a very eccentric, amusing and charming character. Have you based any of your characters on anyone you have known past or present?

Yes. But I'm not going to tell you who, because I wouldn't want them to find out. 

Have you ever visited South America and India yourself?

I've been to several South American countries and India several times, and I'd love to go again. I'd love to go back to the far north of India, to Kashmir and the Himalayas, which are extraordinary. And I'd like to travel to Patagonia, down in the south of Argentina, to see the whales and penguins. 

Can you tell us a little about your series Grk, and how you pronounce it?

Grk is a small dog whose name is pronounced to rhyme with "brook" or "crook". I've written eight books about Grk, his owners, and their adventures around the world, battling bank robbers in Brazil, tackling a crooked politician in Italy, etc. 

What is the best and worst thing about being a writer?

The best thing is working alone, so no one tells you what to do. 

The worst thing is working alone, so you have no one to talk to when you're feeling stuck or bored or lonely.

What was your favourite book as a child?

If I had to pick only one, it would be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. If I could add one more, it would be one of the Tintin books; probably The Crab with the Golden Claws. 

What, in your opinion, makes a good story?

The characters. A great story has to have fascinating, intriguing, believable characters. Nothing else matters as much. 

Do you have any writing tips for us?

I only really have one tip: if you want to be a writer, you should read as much as you can. Read anything and everything. A good writer needs to be a great reader. 

What are your plans for the future?

This year, I wrote a book called The Dragonsitter which was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. I've just written the sequel, The Dragonsitter Takes Off, which will be published in May 2013 and I'm now thinking about the third book in the series. 

To find out more about Josh Lacey and his books why not take a look at his website