Today we will be spotlighting the talented, R.M. Tudor. She is the author of Box 1571, which Angel reviewed.
Interview Conducted by:
1. Why did you make Box 1571 about Ella trying to help her family?
Family is very important to me. Somebody recently asked me what aspects of my own personality were reflected in Ella. I like to think that I would go to great lengths to help and look after my family. I know they would do the same for me. I’m very fortunate in that respect.
2. Have you written any other books? If so, I would love to read them for you!
That’s very kind of you to say so! I am in the process of writing my next one. It is aimed at the same age group as Box 1571 but it is not a sequel. Keep checking www.rmtudor.com and all the news will be posted on there.
3. How did you begin your writing career? How old were you?
I feel like I’ve always wanted to be a writer! I remember being about eight and compiling a ‘book’ of all sorts of different stories and poems I’d written. My primary school teacher was very encouraging, and that made me start to think I could do it. But I loved reading and listening to stories before I started writing them. My dad used to put on different voices when he read to my brothers and me. It made us laugh.
4. What inspired you to write Box 1571?
I originally had the idea when I spent six months living in Adelaide, Australia. The company that I was working for had a post office box. I had to collect the mail and I was really surprised to see that the box had a big hole at the back. It was so that the postal workers could put the mail in from the other side but I thought it was brilliant! It was like a hidden, secret room behind all the shut doors.
5. Have you had any strange journeys throughout your life?
Not as strange as Ella! The strangest journey I can think of was somewhere in south-west USA. All I can remember was that there was this fabulous road which went right through a mountain side. It was like driving through a tunnel but there were big open ‘windows’ carved out in the rock. Mostly it was dark, but every so often we got a flash of the magnificent view beyond. The bus driver played quite spooky music at the same time so it felt very surreal.
6. What do you like about writing?
I like the freedom it gives you to go anywhere and do anything because the only thing that limits you is your imagination. I also like the fact that I can change one or two words, or a sentence here and there, and it totally changes the meaning of what I’m trying to say. That can be frustrating too; but I find it a bit like a jigsaw puzzle and I’m adapting the pieces to make them fit together. It’s not unlike the lock in the Sale Room.
7. What is your favorite book(s)? Author(s)?
I’m a Roald Dahl fan. I don’t even know how many times I’ve read Matilda, or The Witches, or The BFG. I read them as a child and I happily read them again as an adult. There are so many great books out there, though. I love discovering new ones.
8. If you had a magical box that gives you money for completing a task, what kind of door would you open? Where would it lead?
That’s such a great question. I always find that readers of Box 1571 have different rooms that are their favourite so it’s always interesting to me to find out why they have made their choice. I think if I was going to win something for completing a task, then I’d hope the door would lead to quizzes or puzzles because I enjoy those. But if I could enter a room that would let me do anything, then I would like to be able to fly!
9. Before you began writing, what kind of job/career did you have?
I’ve always written, even when I had another job as well. I did a degree in geography and I taught that subject in a secondary school in Oxford, UK, for nine years. At first I wrote in my summer holidays and at weekends, then I taught part-time to write some more, and then I stopped teaching there so that I could write even more!
10. What are your thoughts on our blog and reviews?
It’s great that you’re reading so many books and sharing your thoughts with others! Discussing books and finding out what other people enjoy is such a great way to discover new stories. Keep it up!
11. Where do you write (i.e. park, office, couch, etc.)?
I mainly write in my office which is very quiet and looks out over the garden. In a previous flat I lived in, I had my desk looking out over the main road. It was too distracting! I had to move the desk so it faced the wall. Sometimes I go to write in a park or a café. The change of scene can help. Usually, I go for a walk and then come back to my office.
12. Is the Happy Teapot based on a cafe that you know of or have been to?
SPOILER ALERT: It is but I’m not going to tell you where! The reason is because the café that gave me the idea is really lovely whereas The Happy Teapot isn’t (in the beginning at least) so I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong impression of the real café!
13. If you had a voice that was every where like Finder in the book, what would you name it and tell it? Can anyone else hear it?
I think everyone has a voice like Finder in his/her head already. The name ‘Finder’ is an anagram of ‘friend’. That’s where his name came from. Friends and family can be such an important influence that they can help and guide somebody even when they’re not physically in the room.
14. Any other interesting info/facts about you.
I have a phobia of buttons! Well, maybe not a phobia exactly, but a great disliking of them. It’s called koumpounophobia apparently. People seem to find that fascinating about me…
Thank you so much Ms. Tudor!