Today, I’m handing over the blog reigns to a group of voracious readers and up-and-coming book reviewers from Years 3 and 4 at Girton Grammar School in Bendigo. Maddi, Jacob, Bronte, Max, Lincoln, William and Sarah recently read Tape Escape and Selfie Search from the Max Booth Future Sleuth series by author, Cameron Macintosh, and illustrator, Dave Atze. To mark the launch of the second book, Selfie Search, the students put together some probing questions and Cameron was kind enough to provide us with some intriguing answers.
Into the future . . . to discover the past!
|Selfie Search (Oct 2017), book 2 in the series
Max Booth Super Sleuth, for ages 8-10.
What gave you the main idea for the book [series]? (Jacob 10)
The main idea came about after a trip to Pompeii, in Italy. As you probably know, Pompeii was buried by volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79 CE. While I was there I saw lots of objects that had been buried under ash and rubble for most of that time. Even seemingly boring objects like lamps and combs, I found really interesting. I couldn’t help wondering who they’d belonged to and how they’d been used. All of this made me wonder how people in the future will react when they come across objects that we use today, or that people have used in the last few decades. Then I thought, ‘I just need a future character who finds today’s objects as interesting as I found the objects in Pompeii!’. And that’s how Max was born!
How did you get the idea of setting Tape Escape in the future? (Bronte 10)
What inspired you to write Selfie Search? (Maddi 9) (Max 10)
“I think that [Selfie Search] is a good book with a lot of imagination. It’s funny and exotic and a book that I would read again! It also encourages me to use my imagination and think outside the box. (Maddi 9)
Why did you decide to write about people in the future? (William 9)
Why did you decide to put your books four centuries into the future? (Sarah 9)
Max and his robot dog, Oscar, are on a mission!
|Tape Escape (Aug 2017), book 1 in the series
Max Booth Super Sleuth, for ages 8-10.
Why did you make Max an orphan? (William 9)
Well (keep it a secret…) but Max may or may not be an orphan… I won’t say much more about that – you’ll just have to look out for further adventures! But the fact that he doesn’t live with family means that he can get up to all sorts of adventures at all times of the day and night. Deep down, though, Max misses living with his family, and would do anything to see them again. As for me, it definitely makes it easier to think up storylines when you’re writing about a character with so much freedom.
Where did you get the names for the characters? (Sarah 9)
What made you think of a beagle bot? (Maddi 9)
Beagles are known for their incredible sense of smell, so I thought they’d make very highly-skilled robot dogs. But probably the main reason is that ‘beagle’ and ‘bot’ sound so good together!
Is there school in the future? Does Max go to school? (Sarah 9)
“I thought that Max Booth Tape Escape was a great book. I like how its people from the future discover things from around our time and put them in museums just like we do…” (Jacob 10)
Why did you decide to write [Tape Escape] about a cassette tape? (William 9)
How big was the packing case Max was living in? (Sarah 9)
Reading the fine print . . .
When did you write your first book? (Bronte 10)
I’ve been writing stories since primary school, but I wrote my first published book in 2008. That wasn’t a story though – it was a non-fiction book about the Beaconsfield Mine disaster, when two miners got stuck underground in a Tasmanian goldmine for two weeks, in 2006.
How many books have you written? Max (10)
So far, I’ve written about 85 books. It sounds like a lot, but most of them are pretty short!
Are most of your books about the future? (Lincoln 9)
How many do you plan to have of this series in the future? (Jacob 10 )
When is your next book coming out? (Maddi 9)
Up close with Cameron Macintosh
|Cameron Macintosh, author of children’s series
Max Booth Super Sleuth
Where are you from? (Lincoln 9)
I’m from the 21st century, and I live in Melbourne!
What’s your favourite book you’ve written? (Lincoln 9)
What’s your favourite book you’ve read? (Lincoln 9)
There are so many, but if I had to choose, I’d probably say Boy, by Roald Dahl. It’s an autobiography, about his childhood in Norway and the UK. I reread it every few years – some of it’s incredibly funny, but he also talks a lot about his homesickness when he went to boarding school, and a lot of other difficult times he went through. Boy also gives you some really interesting insights about where he got some of the ideas for his most famous stories – particularly Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
When you were a kid, did anyone inspire you? (Max 10)
When did you start your career? (Jacob 10)
What do you enjoy outside of writing? (Bronte 10)
Cameron would like to extend his thanks to Bronte, Jacob, Max, Lincoln, Maddi, William and Sarah for their wonderful questions, and to Mrs Dianne Kolenaty for co-ordinating the reading group.
It was enlightening and great fun to share the Cereal Readers’ blog with such delightful readers and curious minds. Thank you for your questions, story summaries and reviews. I hope we can do it again soon!