An Interview with Che Golden, author of The Porridge Plot
To celebrate the release of The Porridge plot, we caught up with Che Golden to find out a little about what went on behind the scenes…
Q. How old were you when you first started writing?
I was quite young – about six, I think. My first book was called The Book of Things, and I basically drew and described all my favourite things and made a little book out of them.
Q. What was the inspiration behind The Porridge Plot?
My daughter, Maya, had hearing problems when she was little, and it really affected how she saw the world. When you can’t label sounds easily, the world can be a little bit scary. She also found it hard to make friends as she struggled to understand what people were saying. I wrote The Porridge Plot for her because I used to feel sad that she was all alone at playtime, and I wanted her to star in a story where the quiet, shy person was the hero. Shy people need to be the stars in more books!
Q. Can you describe the book in ten words?
Two people discover that food can make you the best of friends! Sorry, that is twelve…
Q. Out of every book you’ve ever written, which was your favourite and why?
I wrote a book called Mulberry to the Rescue that was great fun to write. It was full of action scenes, dastardly villains, cheeky ferrets and naughty ponies. I got to write lots of exciting scenes and make up dialogue that was non-stop jokes. I really enjoyed myself!
Q. Did you always know how the book was going to end?
I always know how a book is going to start and finish, but it’s the bit in the middle that is really hard to write.
Q. What is your favourite book?
Oooh, it is impossible to have just one! I love The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, A Face made of Glass by Francis Hardinge, The Skulduggery Pleasant series, the Artemis Fowl series, Harry Potter, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett (anything by Terry Pratchett really), A Monster Calls, the How to Train Your Dragon series and loads more.
Q. Would you say you’ve been particularly influenced by any other writers?
Oh, yes! Sometimes I read a book and want to cry with envy because the writing is so wonderful. Laini Taylor, Margo Lanagan, Terry Pratchett, Francis Hardinge, Derek Landy and Eoin Colfer are the writers I try to emulate when I am writing.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice to a young writer, what would it be?
Don’t talk about writing, write – and FINISH it! The people who get published are the people whose novels have a beginning, middle and end. Switch off the TV, get rid of the playstation, ration the Internet and WRITE!
Q. Do you have a special place in which you write?
I have a wonderful book-lined office, which looks out onto wild hills and moors, in the Scottish borders. It is very peaceful and very beautiful, and I love it here!
Q. If you could organize a dinner party to be attended by characters from books, which three guests would be at the top of your list?
Tricky. Off the top of my head I would have to say Lord Vetinari from the Discworld novels, Fly from Fly by Night and Artemis Fowl. I do love a good villain.
When Maya and her family move to the countryside, they are intrigued to find a house sprite living in their new home. This unwanted resident, which identifies itself as a Brownie, gets very upset when it realizes it won’t be getting its bowl of porridge, which Brownies expect to receive in exchange for doing the housekeeping. As the furious creature wreaks havoc on the household, will Maya and her family find a way to resolve this situation, or will they have to leave their new home?
A delightful story of magic and fantasy, Che Golden’s The Porridge Plot is also a touching portrayal of family life, which emphasizes the importance of love and togetherness.
Che Golden is an English-Irish writer who studied creative writing at Bath University. Her popular Feral Child trilogy, published by Quercus, blends Irish mythology and fairy tales.