Those are his own words, because I would never say that about Michael Grant. What he meant was he’s not a literary type. What I meant is he’s not average at all. But I suspect we mean roughly the same when it comes down to it.
Since Michael’s Edinburgh debut in 2010 he has clearly grown in importance. Accompanied by the lovely Vicki from Egmont, he now had a larger venue and a very long signing queue. Although he was quick to point out all that he is not; teacher, inspirational speaker or role model. He is a writer. Writer. Writer.
I might repeat myself here, and I suspect he did too, because there is only so much variation in background information you can mention. But for all I know, you are reading about Michael here for the first time. He was introduced by the marvellously named Andy Peppiette, who astutely knew we weren’t there to hear him, so he shut up after the intro.
There was a trailer for Bzrk and so much gross stuff about what you see in microscopes that I expected Daughter to walk out. It was the minuscule spiders in our eyelashes I worried about. But all the young men in the audience will have useful memories about what’s on people’s tongues, for when they are making out…
We were a grim audience, with most of us preferring death to insanity, Bzrk style. Michael admitted to freaking himself out with Bzrk, so not much hope for others. Another trailer, for Fear, passively advocating birth control to avoid the ‘worst teen pregnancy you’ve ever seen.’
Michael repeated the experiment from two years ago, to see if children in the audience would kill for a Mars bar. (Might have been a different kind of chocolate last time.) This time they would kill. We have evolved. I blame the sweet looking girl with Drake’s arm. What was wrong with her?
It’s all the parents’ fault. (Michael even showed us a picture of the cute cat, last meal of one of the volunteers.) Bzrk and Fear are both the kind of books that you read all night long, leaving you too tired for school, resulting in bad exam results, making you unemployable and cause you to sleep rough.
He likes work, does Michael. That’s why he reckons he’s most like Quinn in the books, with Brianna being his daughter and Computer Jack his son. But Diana is the most fun to write about. He does very profound, scientific research on Google, and found Perdido Beach by following the California coast until he located somewhere that was right. He even has a photo of ‘the damned mineshaft.’
There might be a film of Bzrk, but probably not of Gone, due to a lack of roles for Will Smith to play. He thinks there is more likelihood of it becoming a television series. Hollywood does not like his talking coyotes, however.
Michael’s favourite book might be Fear, as his editor felt he had ‘gone too far’ with it. But Hunger was very hard work, so also has a place in his heart for having had to be so extensively rewritten. His inspiration is Walt Disney for being so quick to murder parents, but feels he went one better in getting rid of all the old people on page one.
Questioned on the religious aspects in his books, he replied that people in America are religious, so any book featuring real Americans will have to incorporate different religions. That’s why Astrid is deeply religious.
He makes things up every day. He has no idea what will happen, and does not believe J K Rowling did either. You write your last line, maybe, but then you make everything up as you go.
Michael is 250 pages into Light, and I hope he can continue making stuff up, so we can read the explanations to everything, reasonably soon!