Steve Cole was born in Bedfordshire in 1971 and spent a happy childhood being both loud and amusing to all that knew him. He went to the University of East Anglia, had a brief stint working with Radio Bedfordshire and worked at BBC Children’s Magazines in 1993.
He has a number of titles published ranging from preschool poetry to young adult thrillers, he has also written and worked on Doctor Who! He is most commonly known for his Astrosaurs and Cows In Action series which have been a huge success.
Your Astrosaurs series began in 2005 when Riddles of the Raptors was first published. How did you feel at the time and did you ever imagine the success and the amount of titles that will follow?
It was hugely exciting to see the first Astrosaurs books hit the shelves. The idea of Astrosaurs had come to me years earlier and refused to go away. In the end I just had to sit down and write it… and I’m very glad I did! I can’t believe I’ve just finished writing the 16th Astrosaurs book and of course there have been Cows in Action and Astrosaurs Academy books and lots more, only possible because of that dashing stegosaurus. I’m very grateful to him!
Tough question – Can you sum up your books in just three words?
Humour. Adventure. Excitement.
Where do you get your ideas from?
The way it normally works for me is to take something ordinary and treat it in an extraordinary way. Like cows who secretly travel in time, or dinosaurs in space going to school. The crazier the idea, the more seriously you have to take it – that makes it funnier but also adds tension when the baddies’ plans are going well.
Tell us something not many people know about you.
When I was aged 16 to19 I had three hernia operations! Good job my books aren’t too heavy...
Who has been the biggest influence in your life so far and why?
Probably Stan Lee, the writer who created Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Hulk, Daredevil and so many other superheroes for Marvel Comics. He made them seem real people despite their amazing powers. His stories were simple and action-packed and made me want to write my own.
Do you have any favourite authors or books you’d like to share with us?
Roald Dahl. I love the way his books make you see things differently. Like in The Witches, when the boy becomes a mouse but actually isn’t very bothered because he can see there are very good things about being a mouse … Fantastic Mr Fox is my favourite – tense, funny and very satisfying when the farmers are fooled and foiled!
What has been your most memorable achievement so far and why
I guess it was when sales of my books passed the one million mark. My publishers presented me with a real fossil dinosaur egg! It would have hatched into a hadrosaur, like Gipsy. Perhaps one day it still might …
What advice would you give to all those budding young writers out there?
Love writing. Write as much as you can, stick with it, don’t give up easily and hope for good luck!
Fancy finding out more about Steve Cole, or joining the Steve Cole online club? Why not check out his website www.stevecolebooks.co.uk
Or to order any Steve Cole books visit www.randomhouse.co.uk