The Snow Merchant
RB: @sam_gayton Hi Sam! Are you ready to go? Lots of enthusiastic boys here!
SG: @ravenbooks READY, STEADY, TWEET
RB: @sam_gayton Q1 (ready or not!): Why did you write The Snow Merchant?
SG: @ravenbooks A: World Domination
RB: @sam_gayton Great answer! Lots of giggles :)
RB: @sam_gayton A comment: I don't think you should be tweeting an evil mastermind, it might be inappropriate!
SG: @ravenbooks but... but... won't you guys be my minions? I plan to take over the world in the next few years
SG: @ravenbooks Also, seriously, I was working late one wintry night and looked out my window and saw all this snow on my windowsill. I got that
SG: @ravenbooks crackly magic feeling you get when you look out at snow falling. And I looked at my windowsill and I thought, 'Who put that snow
SG: @ravenbooks there?' (It was late, I'd had lots of coffee, I wasn't thinking straight). And at once I thought of this Jack Frost type guy,the
SG: @ravenbooks Snow Merchant, who brings snow to all the towns of the world, and I had the start to my story
RB: @sam_gayton Excellent. #thepowerofhobnobs
SG: @ravenbooks Oh yes indeed. I'd had a whole packet. The ones with the chocolate top!
RB: @sam_gayton Q2: How did you come up with the name Lettie Peppercorn?
SG: @ravenbooks my friend @lotteallan moved to Finland (snowy place) while I was writing it, so Lotte sort of inspired Lettie.
SG: @ravenbooks and a Peppercorn rent is sort of something people pay as a token amount of money for somewhere
RB: @sam_gayton Q3: Is the published ending how you first wrote it?
SG: @ravenbooks yeah it is! I wrote that first time and changed barely anything. It was the middle where things got really crazily rewritten
RB: @sam_gayton Q4: Were the characters influenced by real people?
SG: @ravenbooks YES My Uncle's name is Pat McNulty (he doesn't have a beard though)
SG: @ravenbooks and I have two Nans... wonder if you can figure out who they are based on...
RB: @sam_gayton Q5: Who is your favourite author (other than yourself!)?
SG: @ravenbooks an American guy called Cormac McCarthy. He's a genius. Very dark and terrifying. Also, I like Ursula K le Guin, Terry Pratchett,
SG: @ravenbooks MT Anderson, Shaun Tan, Stephen King... I've said too many, haven't I? You said just one. Sorrrrrrrrry
RB: @sam_gayton Q6: What is your favourite book, and what was it when you were 9/10?
SG: @ravenbooks I think it was... Hmm... Either REDWALL by Brian Jacques, or THE IRON MAN by Ted Hughes, or beautiful stories of RAY BRADBURY
RB: @sam_gayton Ray Bradbury is new to them, some have read The Iron Man, and one has read a comic version of Redwall
SG: @ravenbooks Ray Bradbury is magic. MAGIC. His stories are like ghosts. They get inside your skull and haunt you for years
SG: @ravenbooks Try 'The Day It Rained Forever' or 'The Martian Chronicles' or 'Something Wicked This Way Comes'
RB: @sam_gayton Q7: What would you be if you weren't an author?
SG: @ravenbooks taxi driver
SG: @ravenbooks rock star
SG: @ravenbooks stage-fight choreographer
SG: @ravenbooks zombie apocalypse survivalist expert
RB: @sam_gayton "Zombie apocalypse??! That's not gonna happen!"
SG: @ravenbooks that's what the zombies want you to think
RB: @sam_gayton Q8: What is the greatest adventure you've ever been on?
SG: @ravenbooks I went to LARPS once. It's where you dress up as an elf and get a foam sword and run around a forest pretending you're in Mordor
RB: @sam_gayton "Can you hit someone?"
SG: @ravenbooks yeah but the swords are rubber. I got carried away though cos there was a special move where you yelled out CLEAVING BLOWWW and
SG: @ravenbooks then bring the sword down over your head and stun the enemy and I did it too hard and really hurt a goblin and we had to stop
SG: @ravenbooks it was very embarrassing all the orcs were shaking their heads at me
RB: @sam_gayton Q9: Who is your favourite character in The Snow Merchant and why?
SG: @ravenbooks I like Teresa the best and in fact I have just written another story about her, and how she turns a nasty Prince into a kitten
SG: @ravenbooks she's the best because she's strong and sure of herself and makes big choices that make crazy things happen in the story
RB: @sam_gayton Q10: Have you ever been to Dublin? Have you any plans to visit?
SG: @ravenbooks never been, no. I would love to visit. Can I sleep on the floor of Raven Books?
RB: @sam_gayton "we'll use fictional books for his pillow" (that's a yes!)
RB: @sam_gayton Q11: Do you prefer reading fictional or factional books?
SG: @ravenbooks FICTION ALL THE WAY, BABY
RB: @sam_gayton Q12: How long did it take you to write the book from first line to publication?
SG: @ravenbooks ~2 years in all. But I did have breaks in that time. It wasn't all just typing and hob nob eating
SG: @ravenbooks now can I ask you some questions?
RB: @sam_gayton okey-dokey!
SG: @ravenbooks Q1. Where do you think Noah ends up? Q2. If you were an alchemist, what would you turn your teacher/parents into? Q3. Ant or Dec
RB: @sam_gayton A1: In the ocean, with his gran
SG: @ravenbooks aww tragic
RB: @sam_gayton A2: A muffin, a goblin that runs into walls, a stick of dynamite, a dinosaur, someone that turns everything into sweets
RB: @sam_gayton A3: Dec. (most too young to know, bless)
RB: @sam_gayton Huge huge thanks from the boys
SG: @ravenbooks awesome, thanks it was great :-)
We're so grateful to Sam for generously sharing his time with us and heartily endorse The Snow Merchant as a lively, fantastical, adventure-laden read.