Beginning a new series of interviews with Authors, we had the opportunity to submit questions to Rob Keeley.
How did you start writing?
I’ve been writing since I was seven years old and I used to lie on the hearthrug and write with a smudgy pen and do all the pictures myself in felt-tip, before stapling all the pages together and even writing my own blurb (which I still do!). I did my first short plays when I was eleven, for my classmates to act out. Then I had my first professional credit at the age of fifteen, a magazine article on life for disabled students at my school. I’ve always loved creating stories and characters and entering the world of the imagination.
How would you describe your writing?
Quirky, exciting, funny, unexpected, characterful stories with lots of twists and turns and cliffhangers and revelations, and lots of warmth and love and danger, and journeys of self-discovery. Ranging from a picture book for the 5-7s to novels for middle-grade (8-12) and young adults.
What was the first book you published?
The Alien in the Garage and Other Stories, which was published by Matador (Troubador Publishing Ltd) in 2011. We’ve since gone on to do eight more books together. Have a look at the My Stories section at www.robkeeley.co.uk to find out more!
What inspires you in your writing?
I never know what to say to this! For most writers, I don’t think there are grand inspirational moments – you pick up, or think of, bits of ideas as you go about your daily life. People you’ve known, places you’ve been, things you read or hear about – but the best ideas are pure imagination, and sometimes you’ve no idea where they’ve come from. The writer’s skill is not in having ideas but in knowing how to shape them into a story when they arrive.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
The final, climactic novel in my Spirits series of ghost novels for older children has its official publication date in April – The Coming of the Spirits. This brings to a close the story of spirit-sensitive Ellie and boy ghost Edward that began in Childish Spirits and has continued over the five-book series. I also have other projects on the go – Childish Spirits is currently being recorded as an audiobook by actress Sally