Reaching new heights with David Almond

Skellig author on his latest venture into graphic novels. 

It has been 20 years since Skellig, and David Almond, esteemed author and proud ‘Tynesider’, still can’t believe how that magical story came to him.

“I just posted my latest work to my agent and said I was going to take a break from writing,” he says. “When I turned around to go home, the story started to tell itself in my head. I didn’t take a break; I went home, started writing and six months later, there was Skellig.”

Bex Lindsay from Fun Kids Radio did a great job of interviewing David, and even led a funny Geordie word quiz — but it was the kids in the audience who had the best questions. “What’s your favourite word?” asked one. David thought and thought, then said, “skylark” and then “hawthorn.”

Talking about his new book, Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist, David said, “It feels like an adventure.” It’s his first graphic novel, and he’s teamed up with the wonderfully, dark Dave McKean, illustrator of Coraline, to share a tale of the paranormal (with flying bread and butter). The pair have collaborated before; readers will remember Mouse Bird Snake Wolf and Slog’s Dad. When David was asked why he chose to write this story as a graphic novel he said, “It’s quite visual, quite dramatic; it made sense for it to be this story.”

David also had some tips for aspiring writers of all ages in the audience. Here are the top three:

(1) Just do it. The answer is obvious, just start writing it down.

(2) Don’t try to impress anybody.

(3) Be brave.

You heard it here first!

David Almond signing books at St Mary's Church. Photo Credit: Liesel Bockl, 2019.
Bex Lindsay (left) asking David Almond (right) the kid's questions from the audience. Photo Credit: Liesel Bockl, 2019.

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