|CT: What made you decide to write a young adult (YA) novel? |
IM: I've never really called it YA, because it's targeted at a younger age-group -- I believe it's Middle Grade, in the hair-splitting terminologies of this kind of writing. I had many reasons, all of them honest. Most of all, it was the story that could only be told with these characters, in this way. It was a story I wanted to tell this way, for this age-group. I'd done some research. Boys read pretty damn voraciously until they're thirteen, then a lot fall off for various reasons -- games, peer pressure, too cool for that kind of thing, lack of stuff to read... At the same time, the BBC did some research into who watches Doctor Who -- and by that, I mean 'appointment to view' -- who decides to turn the telly on and watch it, and they found it was fourteen year-old boys. So I thought, can I do something that gives the same eyekicks and the same level of complexity -- it's only adults who whine about plots being difficult because they lack the mental agility and ability to concentrate and be absorbed that kids have -- as Doctor Who, in book form. But aim it at that age-gap: 13 year-old boys -- not forgetting the girls as well. Make it's smart, stretch imaginations a little, make it SF because there's an awful lot of fantasy out there. Make it different and fresh -- no, not another dystopia. Introduce the idea of learning how scientists think and look at the world -- because it's very different from what we think.