Recently, Isabella and I got the opportunity to interview Arthur Slade, the author of numerous best-selling YA and Middle-Grade novels, including Dragon Assassin, Dust, The Hunchback Assignments, and many more! We talked to him about his journey as an author, his story building, writing techniques, and many other topics of interest.
Here are some highlights of our conversation!
Rosie: To start off with a general question, what really got you into writing? And when did you start taking more of an interest in it?
Arthur: Well, I was always kind of a creative kid, and I liked writing film scripts. I saw Star Wars, and I remember wanting to be a director, and writing film scripts, in Grade 6-7ish. And I started writing fiction then as well, off and on, I tried a whole bunch of things! And by the time I was in Grade 11 — well I blame it all on a teacher. They had given us an assignment to write a short story, and mine was called Under Heaven, Over Hell. But when I got the story back, I got a hundred percent! That was kind of the moment it crystallized for me — it was kind of a reward for writing! That’s sort of how I got started, in Grade 11, I just thought: Well, if I can write a short story and get a hundred percent, I can write a novel too. And… I ended up writing my first novel in Grade 11-12! It…was not a good novel, but it was my first one.
Isabella: How do you usually come up with your stories? Especially since most of your books are fantasy, we were wondering what your process is in creating a whole new world?
Arthur: I tend to write what I’m interested in reading. I grew up reading mostly fantasy and I’ve always loved going into another place, even if it was a scary place, or fantasy world – that was interesting to me. When I get an idea, it’s different every time, but sometimes they’ll just come out of the blue! I have a book called Dust, a book set in the 1980s, I just got an image of a boy walking along in a prairie – I don’t know why it was there in my head – and of this truck coming towards him and just this feeling of doom…something really bad was going to happen. And that’s what I do, I write down that idea just so I can kind of get the mood of it.Read More