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Kjartan Poskitt  
Kjartan Poskitt questions and answers

Kjartan Poskitt
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1. What was your favourite book when you were a  child?

"Molesworth" by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald  Searle (and it's still my favourite now, I've got 3 copies!)


2. If  you could be any character from a book, who would you be and why?

There's loads! The Cheshire Cat from Alice  in Wonderland, Plug from the Beano, or Riverboat Lil from the Murderous Maths  books - they all seem to have fun in amazing ways, and enjoy being  themselves.


3. Can  you tell us a secret about yourself? Something that readers might be surprised  to learn about their favourite  author?
I have real trouble concentrating if my shoelaces aren't at exactly the correct tightness.


4. Who inspired you to become a writer and what writers do you admire now?

No single influence, but the first things I wrote were pantomimes having enjoyed the traditional York pantos so much as a kid.  Later I came across Tom Lehrer who did amazingly funny songs at the piano so I tried to write stuff like him. I've always admired any well-written reference book (David Well's  "Dictionary of Curious and Interesting Numbers" is a favourite), and I'm always impressed at a good detective story, (PD James, Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter). BUT right now there's one absolute winner for me who manages to combine amazing ideas with great characters, a good story full of unexpected twists and some utterly hilarious touches, and (at the risk of making him feel smug) that's Philip Reeve.


5. You are well known for your Murderous Maths books, what made you decide to write a novel?
I've always liked making up the little stories for the characters in the MM books, and began to wonder if I could write a Murderous Maths book without the maths. I tried a few ideas, but Urgum was the one that took off, especially as Philip is so good at drawing funny barbarian pictures.


6. Where did you get your inspiration for Urgum the Axeman from?  

There's an old maths puzzle which I wanted to put in the first MM book, but to make it "murderous" I adapted it to involve the scariest character I could think of which was an AXEMAN, and I gave him a brutish sounding name which was URGUM. Gradually over the next MM books he appeared more and more along with a few other savage characters so by the time I came to write the novel, a lot of the people were already in place.


7. Who are your three favourite characters in  Urgum the  Axeman?   

Ooh - tough one! As well as barbarians there are all sorts of weird monster people and I particularily like the Dizzalid  (half woman half lizard) because she's clever, classy but extremely tough. I'm also very fond of the huge ugly well-meaning Mungoid the Ungoid, and I have to like Urgum's daughter Molly because she's just like my four daughters all rolled into one.

8. Is there going to be another Urgum the Axeman book after this one?

I'm writing the second one right now, and I get more and more ideas as I go along, so let's hope there's a few more!


9. What advice would you give to any children who would like to become writers?

Writing stuff is sometimes hard work, but what's even harder is crossing it out! The best way to know when something's worth keeping or not is to ask a patient friend if you can read it out to them.  If you find you read it from start to finish and it sounds good then well done. However if you find you're skipping bits or you're trying to rush through to "the next good bit" then you've got some crossing out to do!  


10.  You are very well known for your Murderous Maths series, have you always loved maths at  school?      

I did because I had a couple of really ace maths teachers, but also I've got a maths brain so I could do it. It's easier to like something you're good at! I wish I'd had a football brain, but my boots and a ball are just an embarrassment for all concerned!

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Urgum The AxemanIf you would like to find out more about Urgum the Axeman, please visit Kjartan’s very own Urgum the Axeman site at www.urgum.co.uk
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Urgum The Axeman
Kjartan Poskitt
writes Urgum The Axeman.
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Kjartan Poskitt
Find out more about Kjartan Poskitt, click here to read
his Biography


Kjartan Poskitt
Find out more about how Kjartan Poskitt wrote Murderous Maths, click here

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