Today we talk about The Clutterbutt and Flumpking Appreciation Society, a book by Colin Ridyard published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Colin Ridyard to get to know him better and what prompted him to write about Magic in his book The Clutterbutt and Flumpking Appreciation Society.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Was the idea for this book born at a particular moment? What was that?
The idea for the book the Clutterbutt and Flumpkin Appreciation Society had its original roots in the storytelling sessions I used to give my children when they had friends over for sleepovers. We would all pile into my big car and drive into the city and stop off at a film-hire shop. After choosing films and snacks we would head home and once the kids had watched their movies we would settle down for a storytelling session. One of the favourite tales was about two fairies who got into all sorts of mischief. They would visit Anglesey in a magical flying boat and try and thwart the dastardly schemes of a certain children’s television character whose name shall remain anonymous. The premise of the story was the TV character baddie whilst pretending to be a goodie was trying to take over the world by brainwashing the children with horrible rhymes about being good citizens and essentially telling them what to think instead of how to think.
- What would you like to hear from your young adult readers?
As a writer it is nice to have people appreciate your stories. Ideally, we don’t just want to see 5-star reviews on Amazon, we want people to write about what they really enjoyed about the book, what did they think the central themes were, did they think the book carried any messages for society, would they recommend the book to their friends, and would it make a really good movie if making the transition to the big screen? It is also nice if readers can identify with the characters. Do they see a little bit of themselves in the main protagonist or even in the main antagonist? The most important thing though, especially for young adults, is for them to hold the book up as a mirror to the society in which they live. Is it for example correct in a free country to ban people of different ages from reading certain kinds of book because some political parties think they are inappropriate for a modern audience? Or would it be better to let people read the book themselves and make up their own minds?
- What prompted you to write a book about Magic?
Many years ago, as a 12-year-old schoolboy, I had the rare privilege together with the rest of my classmates of having a freedom of expression, no holds barred workshop on creative writing. Prior to this, I had been free to explore British comics, young adult and children’s literature from the early 1900s all the way up to the mid 1970s. There was so much to choose from including ghost stories, fairy stories, time travel, space travel, undersea adventures, first contact, new inventions, crime, mystery and adventure. As a reader, the minute you open the book covers is the minute the magic begins. You are inexorably drawn into a brand-new world created by the imagination of the writer. This is the real spellbinding power of books and it was this allure that gave me the idea for the sort of enchantment and Hocus Pocus in Clutterbutt and Flumpkin. The delight of the creative process, the charm of the characters all coming to life, the fascination of the chaos that ensues and ultimately the potently powerful magic of the love and friendships we make on the journey is just too enticing to miss out on.
- How was your publishing experience?
It is a strange and surreal experience. The publisher has been very helpful and given me lots of helpful advice. They have worked very hard to promote the book to what has really been a very unenthusiastic and indifferent British press. I cannot really blame them though. Stories about celebrities are always going to sell more newspapers and get more Internet clicks then articles about authors most people have not even heard about. On a more positive note, I was really pleased to see the book get its first five star review and the knowledge that at least one person found the book really enjoyable is very encouraging. Trying to promote the book is very difficult as well. I recently went to a book fair in Brighton to try and publicise Clutterbutt and Flumpkin and at the same time advocate the books of other authors who are also trying to make headway in this difficult field. The attendance at the book fair was OK but it could have been better. I think COVID is certainly making it a lot tougher in what is already a tough competitive business. I would urge everyone to support all writers in these difficult times and buy their books.
- Are you working on a new writing project?
This is the exciting part. I enjoyed writing Clutterbutt and Flumpkin so much I have already started story-boarding a sequel. I hope to make a third and fourth book as well. The worlds and characters are so diverse the potential for situations to arise is virtually limitless. I promise there are going to be a lot of new surprises in store as well as a lot of unexpected twists and turns. No spoilers though. As a side project, I am also writing books for the two to eight-year-old children’s market about an endearing little elephant called Eddie who turns up unexpectedly to a birthday party. Two of these books are already available from all good online booksellers. The only limiting factor is time. As a relatively unknown author I am nowhere near a point where I can support my family on my writing alone. So, like everyone else, I have a day job in order to make ends meet. It’s a tough old world out there.
Europe Books thanks the author Colin Ridyard once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book The Clutterbutt and Flumpking Appreciation Society. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish you that you could get the best out of reading this book, having fun, self-reflection, and finding new points of view, thanks to the vicissitudes that envolve the protagonists of this story.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy this magic reading!