Friday, 14 August 2009

Featured on Friday: Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman is the bestselling author of over 50 books for children and young adults. Malorie has also written TV scripts for Byker Grove, Whizziwig and the television adaptation of her novel Pig Heart Boy.

1. Where did you get the idea for the Noughts and Crosses series?
From a number of places really; events from my own childhood, things I’ve seen and heard and experienced over the years, a number of injustices which made my blood boil – they all inspired me to write the Noughts and Crosses books.

2. You tackle some intense and serious issues in your books. Is this something that you set out to do when writing?
Well, I’ve written over 50 books and most of them are pure adventure, suspense, mystery or funny stories for all age ranges. Not all my books are ‘serious’ in tone by any means, but I certainly had a few things I wanted to express in the Noughts and Crosses books and I hope I’ve done that. I don’t believe in hitting my readers over the head with a message saying this is right and that is wrong. What I wanted to do with the Noughts and Crosses books was present the world that Sephy, Callum and their daughter Callie Rose live in and have the readers of the books make up their own minds as to the rights and wrongs of that world.

3. Noughts and Crosses has parallels with Romeo and Juliet. Was this something that you intended to do?
I didn’t set out to do it but I became aware half way through writing the story that there were some parallels.

4. Do you do lots of research before you begin writing a book?
It depends on the book but I’m quite happy doing research if it’s required. For example I did quite a lot of research for my book Pig Heart Boy. I read up about heart transplants, xenotransplantation (transplanting the organs of one species into another), etc and watched a couple of documentaries about organ transplants too. To be honest, I didn’t have to do much research for the Noughts and Crosses books. They were written straight from my head and my heart.

5. In The Stuff of Nightmares, why did you make Kyle’s dad come back as Death?
Kyle’s dad didn’t come back as Death. Death was in the carriage with Kyle almost from the beginning but as quite a different character. But I wanted Kyle’s dad to come back so he and Kyle could have the conversation they should’ve had when Kyle’s dad was alive. Kyle’s dad came back to stop Death from taking Kyle as well.

6. Will there be any more books in the Noughts and Crosses series?
I currently have no plans to write any more in that series. None of the characters from those books are whispering in my ear, urging me to write their story the way Callum, Sephy, Callie Rose and Tobey did!

7. Is there a particular time or place that you do your best writing in?
I do most of my creative writing in the mornings. I prefer to edit/rework later in the day and during the evening.

8. Can you tell us anything about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on my next novel but I never talk about the story I’m currently writing as I find I lose all enthusiasm for finishing it if I do that!

Thank you very much, Malorie! You can visit Malorie at her website here.



  1. I love Malorie Blackman's book! Great interview.

  2. Great Interview questions. I'll have to read this soon.

  3. Very cool interview!

    I used to work in a store Malorie Blackman came into sometimes, and I thought she looked familiar... then when she handed her credit card over I was like, 'You're the *writer* Malorie Blackman?', all starstruck. She was so nice, and not at all put out that I was being such a geek.

    I really liked Noughts and Crosses, but I probably need to check out The Stuff of Nightmares too - it sounds really original.

  4. Nice interview!!

  5. Great interview! :) I loved Noughts & Crosses!

  6. I've been meaning to read Nought & Crosses for so long. I am going to make room for it very soon. I didn't know she was so prolific, but I'm excited because now I have a lot to choose from. I agree completely with her answer to #8. I like to talk about what I write, but I keep things quiet because it is so dangerous.

  7. I just heard about Malorie for the first time the other day. I plan on reading her book, Noughts & Crosses. If I like it, I'll continue on with the rest of the series.


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