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Guest Author - Kevin Brooks

Your novels are gritty, intense and often with a thriller element - do you intend to write this style of story intentionally or does the story develop this way as you write?

While all stories certainly develop of their own accord during the writing process, I always plan my books in advance, and I know how I want them to be, and I definitely want them to be intense and exciting.

You deal with issues a lot of writers don’t and many of your novels deal with the isolation of a character in some form - how do you research your work and get in the mindset of the young characters in terrible situations?

I research as much as I need to in terms of background, facts, information etc. But I don't think the mindset of any individual character - young or old - can really be researched, it has to come from the imagination. For me, it's simply a matter of imagining how it would be to be someone else - how do they feel? How do they think? How do they see the world? - And then I try to become them and write their story.

If you could have super powers, like iBoy, what would your powers be and why?

I'd like to be able to type at 1,000,000 words per hour - Typo-Man! - So it wouldn't take so long to write each book.

iBoy has fragments of an iPhone in his brain - have you ever had any mishaps with technology?

I stepped on an iPod once and some fragments remain embedded in my foot. Unfortunately, the only way I can listen to the iTunes in my foot is by inserting my big toe into my ear - and I'm just not supple enough to manage that.

You’ve published 13 novels since 2002 - is it hard to write at that rate or do you find the stories are always there waiting for you to write them?

The stories are always there waiting for me - I've never had any problem with ideas - it's just that they take quite a while to turn into books.

Has your varied career aided your inspiration for your books?

Yes, definitely. Although I didn't really enjoy a lot of my 'varied career' at the time, it's undoubtedly proved very useful to me as a writer, giving me a vast reservoir of characters, situations, experiences and feelings to draw on.

Are any of the characters based on people you know?

I like my characters to be individuals in their own right, so I try to avoid basing them directly on people I know or have known, but I often use my memories and experiences of people's characteristics and how they behave to help make my characters as real as possible.

You’ve won awards for your books as well as critical acclaim - is there anything else you’d like to achieve in your writing career?

I've only just got started - there's a million more things I'd like to achieve!

Do you have any advice for our budding young writers?

It might sound a bit simple, but the most important thing is to just keep doing it. The rest will take care of itself.

Who is your literary idol?

I don't have any idols, literary or otherwise.

What is your favourite book ever and why?

A dictionary - it contains every story ever written and every story that will ever be written.

Finally, can you sum up iBoy in 3 words?

Life
And
Death

Book Review

iBoy by Kevin Brooks
Published by Puffin
Published on 1st July 2010
RRP 7.99
ISBN 978-0141326108

An astonishing, genre-defying novel from one of Britain's most acclaimed writers for teens. Part gripping crime novel, part sci-fi thriller - this is Kevin Brooks at his best.

Ever wondered what it would be like to possess superhero powers? And if you did, what would you use them to achieve? Combining modern technology with the gritty realism of gang culture and inner-city life, iBoy is a superhero story for the 21st Century - with a difference. Kevin Brooks has astutely tapped into a rising trend, in the line of Heroes, Kick Ass and Iron Man, bringing to it his breathtaking writing style and original concepts for an enthralling read that resonates long after the final page.

Before the attack, sixteen-year-old Tom Harvey was just an ordinary boy. But now fragments of a shattered iPhone are embedded in his brain and it’s having an extraordinary effect because now Tom has powers. The ability to know and see more than he could ever imagine. And with incredible power comes knowledge - and a choice. Seek revenge on the violent gangs that rule his estate and assaulted his friend Lucy, or keep quiet? Tom has control when everything else is out of control. But it’s a dangerous price to pay. And the consequences are terrifying

Recommended for readers 12+