Monday 11 November 2013

Elizabeth Chats With...Curtis Jobling

[Anyone who read my Swanwick posts back in August will remember how I raved about Curtis Jobling. Originally best known for Bob the Builder, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion and other animations, he has recently turned to the written word with the Wereworld series of Fantasy and horror books. I am delighted to welcome Curtis as my November guest to Elizabeth's Page.]
Hello Curtis, great to have you on board. Let's start with an easy one: what is your earliest memory — and how old were you at the time?
Arriving at my new home in Warrington and meeting a neighbouring kid who was sat at the bottom of the street with a nosebleed. I'd have been 2 years old, and it's stayed with me.

What was your favourite subject at school — and which was the lesson you always wanted to avoid?
Always loved English Language and Art - hard to pick between the two of them. I especially loved it when my English teacher had no lesson plan and said "Write your own story!" Other kids were crestfallen and I'd throw myself into it. Chemistry always left me as cold as a sub zero H20...
Interesting. I'm with you on this one. I've been a chemist for the past thirty years; but now I've thrown it all in to write instead - and I know which I prefer.
Where is your favourite place on earth — and why?
Home. That's where my family are. It may sound like a cliché but it's true. Work can take me everywhere and anywhere but I'm invariably looking back over my shoulder wondering what my loved ones are up to. If you want something else, I'm going to have to go with York. Wonderful city, and some very splendid memories from throughout my childhood and adulthood.

How do you relax?
With my wife and children (when they're behaving). Downtime might be watching the various shows that are backlogged on our SKY+ and in need of viewing. These are usually programmes such as Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. You know the deal - violent, bloody and more than a little adult. Who'd have thought he made preschool kids' shows, eh?
If you could change one thing about yourself or your life so far, what would it be?
That I'd started writing seriously sooner. I've left it quite late, I feel, having pursued my career in animation and illustration for so long. If I'd have known that writing for an older audience was going to be this much fun I would most certainly have started sooner!

If you could meet one person from history, who would it be — and why?
Eric Morecambe. Everyone's favourite imaginary uncle.

Watch a film, go to the theatre, read a book or talk to friends — which would you prefer?
Can I have a curry with my friends? We can talk about all that other good stuff while we chow down on a fine Special Balti Guri. Coming from Birmingham myself, I can't fault a good Balti.
Now, if you could take part in one television programme, which one would it be?
The Adventure Game. It's a blast from the past but the Vortex freaked me out as a kid, not least because Keith Chegwin was disintegrated by it - that would be a battle royale!
Curtis, I’ve set the earlier questions; now it’s your turn: Write the last question yourself and use it to tell us something about yourself, your life or your work.
My question would be 'Where would you like to be in ten years time?' And my answer would be: still writing, I should imagine, and having a whale of a time to boot. We'd be living off the regular royalty cheques from the Wereworld books, movies and tie-in lunchboxes, quilts and undercrackers, and I'd be wordling for giggles. I don't think I shall ever truly retire. Creative souls want to create. I expect to be creating mischief and merriment while they hammer my coffin lid shut.
Curtis, thanks for taking the time to come and talk to me.
If you want to know more about Curtis Jobling and his work, check out his website here. You can find all his books on Amazon UK, or on Amazon USA.

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