To my surprise I have read most of Tom Palmer’s books. When I was sent the first one I was happy to read it. A bit sporty, you know, but a fine story. And the books kept coming, and I kept reading and liking them. All that football… But the man writes a good story, and he is gold with boys. I know that’s a little sexist, but there you are. And he has written about girls and sport. Now that Tom’s moved deeper into war stories, he’s got even better. I have no idea where this will end.
Below Tom makes short work of my silly questions, and here is a handsome photo of him and his dog, Finn. Woof.
How many books did you write before the one that was your first published book?
Three. Amid a hundred-plus false starts over 20 years.
Best place for inspiration?
A moving train.
Would you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? Perhaps you already do?
What would you never write about?
Through your writing: the most unexpected person you’ve met, or the most unexpected place you’ve ended up in?
A Russian oligarch’s bodyguard. A cruise ship prison cell. Not at the same time.
Which of your characters would you most like to be?
Ernest from Armistice Runner, because he knows what it feels like to win a fell race.
Do you think that having a film made of one of your books would be a good or a bad thing?
A good thing. Largely financially, to be honest. Though I’d like to see Armistice Runner on camera for the lovely scenery.
What is the strangest question you’ve been asked at an event?
Why do you support Leeds United?
Do you have any unexpected skills?
I have a superb reputation in the family for decorating cakes.
The Famous Five or Narnia?
Who is your most favourite Swede?
How do you arrange your books at home? In a Billy? By colour, or alphabetically?
Categories that become corrupted very quickly.
Which book would you put in the hands of an unwilling eight-year-old boy reader?
I’d have a chat with him first to find out what he is into, then suggest something. But – without any of that intel – I’d say Eoin Colfer’s The Legend of Spud Murphy.
If you have to choose between reading or writing, which would it be?
Writing. Reading makes me really happy, but I think, when it’s going well, writing makes me even happier.
Well, this just goes to prove how weird people are. Leeds United … well. The author questions, the secret skills. Their Swedes. (I had to look Pontus up.) But Tom’s got great taste when it comes to advice on reading. And I’ll have a slice of that cake if you don’t mind!