ABOUT THIS MONTH’S AUTHOR
Jon Mayhew’s debut novel Mortlock was the most popular title in the 2011 Booked Up scheme. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and has won several regional awards. His subsequent novels The Demon Collector and The Bonehill Curse have increased Jon’s fanbase and made him an author to go to for thrilling reads.
Jon Mayhew lives on the Wirral Peninsula close to the Dee marshes with his wife, four children and a menagerie of pets. He has been a teacher for over twenty years and works with children with Autistic Spectrum Conditions. When Jon is not writing he enjoys running and has completed seven marathons. Traditional folk music is another passion and he plays mandolin in ceilidh bands. He believes there is no film or book that cannot be improved by the addition of a shark!
Read ten questions with Jon Mayhew further down the page!
ABOUT THE BOOK
MONSTER ODYSSEY: THE EYE OF NEPTUNE
Prince Dakkar has been abducted from the streets of London and taken to the coastal residence of the mysterious Count Oginski. Here he discovers that the Count has been working on a top-secret machine: the world’s first submersible.
But in a dangerous world of spies and secrecy, someone would do anything to capture Oginski’s invention. When the Count is kidnapped, Dakkar escapes in the submarine, only to face horrifying creatures of the deep, lethal giant squid, and above all, the sinister Cryptos, who is hell-bent on taking over the world.
Monster Odyssey: The Eye of Neptune is a seafaring spectacular that takes its inspiration from the classic Jules Verne novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Imagining Captain Nemo’s young life, Jon Mayhew has packed his new adventure with pirates, conspiracies, deadly creatures and a thrilling pace that sets sail and never lets up.
TEN QUESTIONS WITH JON MAYHEW
Describe yourself in five words?
Scatter-brained, cheerful, messy, imaginative, weird. (I know, I cheated with the compound word)
Who or what was your biggest influence in deciding to become a writer?
A broken ankle (that left me sat in front of a laptop for six weeks), Louis Sachar, Eoin Colfer, Charles Dickens and WW Jacobs because their stories left me thinking, “I want to write like that!”
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Read. Read. Read. Then sit down and write, write, write.
Which of your characters did you most enjoy writing?
The demons in The Demon Collector. They’re quite funny, some of them.
Which character from a book would you like to be for a day?
Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea because then I could explore the oceans!
If you hadn’t been an author, what would you have been?
A teacher or maybe one of those people who smiles at you at shop entrances and says, “Hi, how you doing?”
When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
I love reading and I love running quite long distances.
What book, film and album would you take to a desert island? (feel free to elaborate on your choices)
Book: The Thousand and one Nights – This is a bit of a cheat as it is a collection of lots of traditional tales and so I could read them for a long time and tell them to the strange lemurs and lizards that inhabit my particular island. It has everything I love, magic, monsters, pirates, genies, monsters, flying carpets, monsters and did I mention monsters?
Film: The Crimson Pirate starring Burt Lancaster. If you haven’t seen it, then you should. Swashbuckling adventure, comedy amazing stunts and some great lines – “In a pirate world, in a pirate ship, on pirate waters, ask no questions, believe only what you see… no! Believe half of what you see!”
Album: I quite like to listen to film soundtracks when I’m writing but I think the steady beat of the waves would help me concentrate. I think I might need something upbeat so I would probably choose Overkill by Motorhead (I know, I’m sorry) so I could play it really loud and frighten all the lemurs!
What television programmes do you never miss?
Dr Who and the News. I don’t watch much TV – see request for writing tips above.
Tell us something about your next project
The second Monster Odyssey book focuses on dinosaurs. It’s set a few months after Book one, in 1815. Dakkar meets Napoleon Bonaparte and journeys to the centre of the earth where the dinosaurs live (naturally). He (and the dinosaurs) even get caught up in the battle of Waterloo. There a humungous sharks too!