Some kids love adventure, and dream of being a hero. Ten-year-old Kyle Evans is not one of those kids, but when a giant hole appears in his bedroom and swallows his mom, a hero is what Kyle must become. Kyle sets out on the journey of a lifetime, and discovers along the way that Battle Droids are scarier than Search Droids, Kranken are more terrifying than either of these, and you should never stand still near a Burgly Bug. But more important than any of this, Kyle learns that sometimes a cat is not just a cat.
Today I’ve had the opportunity to talk to Rob Hunt, the author of ‘Kyle Evans and The Key to The Universe’. This is the first book in an exciting adventure trilogy that takes a boy, his cat and his friend Sofia across the universe, gradually revealing their amazing destiny. Rob, are you able to start our interview by letting us know what sparked the idea for your ‘Kyle Evans and the Key to the Universe’?
The idea for Kyle Evans really began with the character of the cat – Bootles. I just wondered what would happen if one day, a perfectly normal cat started speaking to its owner. Why would that happen? What if the cat was not really a cat? I had no idea at the beginning how the story would develop.
So how did the characters like Bootles, come to you?
I really don’t know. It is a strange process – they just form as ideas and then I let them develop as they wish. I know, it sounds crazy.
It doesn’t sound crazy at all. Writing does seem to be a bit of a mystery at times as to how characters or the plot came to pass. Once you had your characters, were there some that you wanted to spend more time with? And which character was your favourite to write?
My favorite to write is probably Bootles, but I really am very fond of Kyle and Sofia too.
When you started writing, did you have a goal to include themes into the story?
No, my stories are really driven by the characters, rather than a theme. If themes appear, it is as a result of the characters in the book, rather than anything that I had planned.
Did you do any research to support your characters’ journeys to when you were writing this book?
The amount of research required to write a book is astounding. I often think that if someone looked at my Google search history, they would think I was a madman. For Kyle Evans, was mostly focused on space, time, and the nature of cats.
That’s a pretty good combination of searches. I think that the nature of cats fits quite nicely with the principals of space and time. In additional to your Google searches, did you draw on any life experiences?
I am delighted to say that I have never been hunted by deadly robobugs or captured and put in a zoo, so there are no personal life experiences that inform this book.
That’s good to hear! How long did it take for you to write this book?
The first draft took about six months, and the editing process was probably another six to nine months.
What did you find the most rewarding thing about writing this book?
Two things – finishing the first draft of the manuscript, and receiving feedback from kids who have loved a book.
What are you working on next?
I just finished the second book in the Kyle Evans trilogy which will be available this November (2016)
Congratulations on completing your second book. Good luck with the editing process, and hopefully we will be able to catch up again when your next book is available. Now I’d like to change tact and talk about yourself as a reader as all great writers are great readers. Who are your favourite authors, and do you believe that they have influenced your writing style?
I have so many favorite authors that it is difficult to know where to begin. They would include Michael Bond, Bill Bryson, Agatha Christie, Mary Doria Russel, Henning Mankell, Roald Dahl, Douglas Adams, John Irving and many, many more! I have no doubt that what I read influences my writing style – every time I read a good book I am getting a lesson in how to write! I can’t pinpoint exactly how any one author has influenced me, but my overall style is fast-paced, humorous at times, action-packed and occasionally a little dark (but never gratuitously violent).
And when you were a child, what was your favourite book?
Definitely the Paddington bear series!
Out of those books that you have read, is there one that you wish that you would have written?
So many! The world is full of brilliant, compelling, astonishing books that I did not write!
Paddington is a great choice. And finally, do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Be kind, use common sense have fun!
A great combination of wisdom. Thank you very much for your time today, good luck with your promotion of this book, and good luck with your next instalment.
Want to find out more about Rob? Contact him at the following locations: