Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Interview with author Andy Robb

Guess what? I have legendary author Andy Robb here today to tell you all about his geeky (but awesome) books, and he also tells us who he would hate to be stuck on a desert island with (sorry, Biebs) as well as what events you can find him at this year.

Hi Andy! Welcome to The Mile Long Bookshelf! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your awesome book 'Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind'?
Hi Amber – it’s a pleasure to be here! Close Encounters is the first in the Geekhood books and it focuses on Archie, a self-confessed Geek. We meet him about a year after his parents’ divorce, when he’s starting to get used to the new step-figures in his life, in the form of Tony (his mum’s boyfriend) and Jane (his dad’s girlfriend). Archie’s got a couple of coping mechanisms up his sleeve: there’s his mates, Ravi, Beggsy and Matt, with whom he paints miniatures for Role Playing Games and there’s his Internal Monologue (IM). The IM’s like an extra character, who lives inside Archie’s head and you get to see what he really thinks about certain things and people, although he might be acting in a completely different way.

And amidst all this, a girl, Sarah, walks into the equation. A girl who Archie likes. And then it’s a decision as to whether to leave his Geekhood behind to get her to like him – or carry on as he is and hope for the best.

Well I'm currently reading it and I love it! How long did it take your book to get from inside your head to retailers, readers and reviewers?
About a year, door to door. Once I’d finished the first draft, my agent took it to a book fair and it came back with three publishers interested. After some real head-scratching, the reins were handed to Stripes Publishing, who've done a fantastic job. I think what I wasn't prepared for was just how long the editing process can take – but it was peculiarly good fun to do.

You're stuck on a desert island with Justin Bieber and One Direction. Who do you kill first?
I’ve taken advice from my son on this one and it’s The Bieber.

Wise choice! If 'Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind' was offered a movie deal, who would you pick to play the main characters?
I do know, but I’m going to keep it quiet! I wrote Archie in a way that I hope everyone can create their own version of him that’s entirely personal to them. Once you associate a Big Name with a character, the two become almost inseparable and I wouldn't want that. So, in the event of a film, I think I’d like the part to go to an unknown actor.

Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Have a point of view or something you want to ‘say’ in your writing. A book is where you can put that theory to the test – and it’ll inform which direction the story takes and what the characters do.

Sorry, I have to ask this...what is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you?
Curse you and your inquisition! Actually, I do tell this story at events I do; it didn't go into the book, but it happened when I was 13. The long and short of it is that I had an Enormous Crush on a girl in my class and ended up telling her. Which was the point at which I passed out. Needless to say, I didn't get the girl.

What is your favourite food?
Chips made by my mum. She’s told me the secret to making them but, even though I've tried, I just can’t get them to taste just the same.

If you're working on a new book right now, can you tell us more about it?
I’m working on two: one YA and one Middle Grade. The YA book features a character as far from Archie as you can get. The Middle Grade book one was inspired by my son and should be a bit of a laugh.

Sounds good! Finally, what events can we see you appearing at soon?
They’re stacking up! Here’s a link to my website, where you can catch them as they arrive:

Thanks, Andy!
Thanks for the interview, Amber!


  1. Great interview Amber - and mmm, home made chips are the best, though I'm sure Andy's mum makes them better than I do!

  2. CHIPS! I feel like eating chips now.

    I have a copy of Geekhood on my shelves, I really must get around to reading it soon!

  3. fab interview! Like Jesse, I'm now craving homemade chips. Does your Mum do takeaway orders Andy?