Did you ever think you'd become an author?
Ha ha! In a word, no.
What books have most influenced your life?
Too many to mention - here’s a few: Gormenghast, A Moveable Feast, The Dark is Rising, The Weathermonger, Moby Dick, Treasure Island, The Prestige, The First Century After Beatrice, Ritual …
What was the hardest part of writing your latest book?
With my latest book, the hardest part was trying to work out how to put coincidences in a book in a good way, since coincidences are what bad writers use to get themselves out of weak plots!
What inspired you to write your first book?
Floodland was inspired by the news around Climate Change 15 years ago.
If you could do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, not a word. You can’t go thinking like that because it would drive you crazy.
Who is your favourite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have one favourite. I think I will choose one here - Ernest Hemingway - his style is deceptively simple, often copied, never beaten, sometimes derided, but worth learning from.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
No, not usually. I want to suggest things that make them think about various things in life more deeply, and entertain them in doing so.
Is there a message in your novels that you want your readers to grasp?
Sometimes there is a message for the reader. Sometimes there’s a message for one person only. Sometimes both.
What was your favourite book as a child?
As a young child it was Old Peter’s Russian Tales
Have you always enjoyed writing or was it something you developed later on in life?
I always enjoyed it but never thought it could be something I could do for a living.
Can you tell us a bit more about The Raven Mysteries series …
The Raven Mysteries are so called because they are a series of stories about a weird family who live in a giant castle, and each story is narrated by the grumpy but loveable old raven who lives with them. He’s called Edgar and I am very fond of him.
How did the opportunity to write ‘The Spear of Destiny’ 50th Anniversary Doctor Who story arise?
That was a simple one - Puffin got in touch to offer me the chance to write one of the stories for their new collection of 11 doctors. I took about a millisecond to say yes …
Where can fans find out more about your work?
Thank you to Marcus for answering our questions! The questions were written by Natasha Ahmed (15), who's currently on work experience with us.