Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Featured Author: Graham Austin-King

Just a few days ago I featured a children's book for the first time on this blog, and I'm happy to have another one today. 
Written by Graham Austin-King and illustrated by Sarah Heseltine, Liam and The Grump
 is the highly rated book about a little boy with a temper.

About the book:

When Liam's father tells him to control his temper Liam goes one step further and pulls it right out of him. Unfortunately Liam's temper doesn't want to be controlled and would rather have fun. Follow Liam and the Grump through the mayhem as he tries to get it back under control. A fun story for all ages showing how we all can struggle to control our temper.

Interview with Graham Austin-King:

Tell us about Liam and the Grump. 

Liam and The Grump is a fun book for kids aged roughly 4-8 that deals with the topic of learning to control your temper. More than that though, it teaches that everyone has to control their feelings - not just kids. 

Where did you get the idea for this book?

My son was beginning to develop a rather nasty temper, and one day I told him to throw his temper in the bin...

Do you have an inner grump?

Doesn't everyone? Mine can be quelled with enough coffee... well most of the time.

How did you come up with the title Liam and The Grump?

Liam is my six-year-old son.

Will this be a series?

It wasn't going to be originally, but it seems to be heading that way. I've had a few requests for more Grump stories.

I'm guessing your inspiration is your son?

In this case it was my son, but really it's the voices in my head.

Sarah Heseltine did the illustrations for the book. How did you find her?

I actually placed an ad on the Internet. Sarah was one of the many who responded, but her sample art was wonderful.

How do you market your books?

It's a bit of a challenge as I am not in bookshops yet, and so it's not as if I can go and do signings. I am spending a lot of time on social media, but I have also sent out a few press releases, and I am doing a series of readings at a local school.

This is your first published book. How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

I've been writing since I was about 16. I have a whole host of truly terrible scratchings locked away.

From Liam And the Grump:

“Oof!” said Liam as three jumpers and a cuddly giraffe landed on his tummy. Liam threw his pillow back and let out a giggle.

Five minutes later after they had emptied the wardrobe and run out of toys to throw in the air, the Grump pounced on Liam and started tickling. Liam giggled and screamed.

Who are your favorite authors? 

Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V Brett, Robert Munsch, Carl Sagan, John Grisham, I am pretty eclectic.

That's a good bunch! 
Where’s home for you?

I live in a sleepy part of Kent in the southeast of England. It's a very green place but only about 45 minutes from London. We've only been here about 2 years, and I am still getting used to it. I'm an urbanite at heart.

If you could only keep one book, what would it be?

A Kindle doesn't count right? Hmm...I think The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

Neil Gaiman said, “Picking five favorite books is like picking five body parts you'd most like not to lose.” So...what are your five favorite books and your five body parts 
you’d most like not to lose?  

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Contact Carl Sagan
The Beach by Alex Garland

Skallagrigg by Willam Horwood

Pawn of Prophecy David Eddings

My head - it's hard to see what I am writing without one

My right hand - hard to type

My left hand - the right hand would be lonely

My left foot - it's my favourite
My right foot - it's my backup

Your last meal would be...


Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore?

A bookshop.

You won the lottery. What’s the first thing you would buy?

My house

You’re given the day off, and you can do anything but write. What would you do?

Spend the day with my wife.

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be? 

Aslan and then I'd go to the zoo and freak people out.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Chasing my kids, reading, cooking, martial arts. 

Do you plan to write in any other genres?

I think so. I have a number of kids stories I want to get finished, but then I would like to try turning my hand to something more substantial.

What are you working on now? 

Naomi and the Lost Smile
, and Captain Pegleg and the Greatest Treasure in the World.

I'd love to hear more about them! Please come back when they're published.

From Liam and The Grump:

"I...I...I don't know," said Liam. "I didn't do it!"

"Well I don't see anyone else sleeping in here so you can clean it up!" said Liam's daddy looking rather cross.

"When you've finished, you can come downstairs for breakfast." He walked out the door and stomped down the stairs.

Grump slithered on top of the bed and got a little bigger with that funny burbling noise and giggled gain. Liam grumbled at it and started to tidy up as the Grump sat watching with a big grin.

About the author:

Graham lives in Kent with his wife Gillian and their three children. He is a voracious reader and has been writing from an early age (just not publishing). Liam and the Grump is his first published work (now available in both paperback and Ebook format).

Website | 
Goodreads | Amazon