Photo of Alan Boroughs, with permission from the author
ALLAN BOROUGHS – A BIOGRAPHY
Allan Boroughs is a writer and a traveller with a passion for big adventure stories “in which a lot of stuff happens”. His first novel, Ironheart, was inspired by his travels in Siberia and tells the story of a young girl who goes in search of her missing father and makes friends with a military android.
As well as journeying to Siberia Allan’s travels have taken him to Mongolia, China and, most recently to the Antarctic. For his next book, he is planning a trip to the jungles of Venezuela.
His adventures have included swimming beneath the Antarctic circle, crashing a dog sledge into a tree, eating fresh scorpions and a very unfortunate incident involving a Siberian toilet. But, he says, the absolute best thing about travelling is the chance to meet people and hear their own stories.
When he is not travelling or writing he enjoys reading, practising martial arts and eating cake. He lives in London with his wife, two children and a snake called Elvis.
Interview with Allan Boroughs
I’d like to welcome Allan Boroughs to bibliobeth today and thank him for giving up his time to do this interview.
1.) Ironheart is an action-packed adventure story right from the very beginning. Did you always know what was going to happen plot wise or did some of it come to you while you were writing?
· I think failing to plan for an action adventure novel leads to disappointing results – I find you really do need a sense of how things will develop – what’s connected and how the story will wrap up. I am a detailed planner by nature – spreadsheets, notes, drawings, photos and scrapbooks help me know exactly how the plot will unfold before I start writing. At least that’s the plan – inevitably when you do actually start writing some part of a story will develop in ways you didn’t expect (strangely those are often the best bits)..
2.) At the beginning of the novel we see a future and quite depressing London struggling to hold back the floods. Is climate change a particular concern for you?
· Of course – as I think it is for most people who think about what sort of future their children might have. However it wasn’t the primary reason for the scenario in the book. Ironheart is something of a wild west story with sci-fi elements thrown in – in order to make that work I needed something to have happened to unbalance the order of things.
3.) This novel is inspired by your travels in Siberia. Are any of the characters based (or loosely based!) on people that you met there?
· Yes and no – I really did meet a shaman in Siberia although it was not the two hundred year old tent dwelling woman in the book – this guy carried an iPhone and wore a shell suit. There are snippets of other people in all the characters but I’m not sure I have the courage to base a character wholly on one person – what if they read the book?
4.) You have created a strong and very likeable female protagonist in India Bentley and some fantastic villains in Clench and Lucifer Stone. Have you any favourite heroes/villains from literature?
· I’m glad you like them – I have a great fondness for a good villain as this is the most essential ingredient in any good story. From literature I love Gollum, Lord Voldemort and, for sheer perversity, Mrs Coulter from Northern Lights. My absolute all time favourite villain(s) are the Dickensian assassins Mr Croup and Mr Vandemar from ‘Neverwhere’ – absolute genius.
· Heroes can often look a bit anaemic next to a strong villain so I like a hero that has a bit of bite to them – my favourite heroine of the moment (and a big inspiration for India) is Mattie Ross from True Grit by Charles Portis.
5.) Can you tell us a little bit about what comes next for India and her crew?
· Lots – as we speak the sequel, Bloodstone has just been released which takes India and her friends (plus some new ones) to Antarctica in search of the lost city of Atlantis – there are more than a few surprises including sea monsters, tunnel drilling machines and a rocket pack.
· I am currently planning a third book in the series which I can’t say too much about except that my research includes a trip to the jungles of Venezuela, a visit to a particle accelerator and a lot of reading about dinosaurs.
Now for some quick fire questions!
E book or real book? – Real book (unless a suitcase is involved)
Series or stand-alone? Stand alone (with potential for expansion into a nine volume boxed set if I like it)
Fiction or non-fiction? Fiction, fiction, fiction every time (except for ‘The Right Stuff’ by Tom Wolfe which the best real life adventure story ever)
Online shopping or bookshop trawling? I love bookshops but if you’re after something really rare my experience is you’re most likely to find it on line. But really, I buy far too many books.
Bookmarking or dog-earing? *sigh* dog-earing – you got me. bibliobeth – *Aw, Alan you were doing so well… :-)*
And now… a preview of the second book in the series, Bloodstone published on the 1st January 2015.
What’s it all about?:
‘What is a myth but a truth retold many times over? Atlantis is real!’
Apprenticed to notorious tech-hunter Verity Brown, India Bentley has spent the last year travelling the globe, finding and selling long-lost technology and doing her best to stay out of trouble. Unfortunately, trouble has a habit of finding her.
Accused of an assassination attempt and thrown in jail, India is rescued by scientist-adventurer Professor Moon: a man obsessed with finding the Bloodstone; key to a source of unlimited energy hidden in the lost city of Atlantis. Now Moon wants India and Verity to join his quest.
Pursued by gangsters, lumbered with a stowaway and haunted by the ghosts of her past, India must risk everything to uncover Atlantis’s secrets. But the truth comes at a price.
India must make the ultimate choice. The fate of humanity is in her hands.
A brand new thrilling adventure-quest in Allan Boroughs’ Legend of Ironheart series and available NOW.
And for those of you who haven’t read Ironheart yet, I’m pleased to announce an opportunity to win a copy, published by Macmillan Children’s Books. Enter by clicking below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Many thanks again to Allan Boroughs for making this interview possible and to find out more about Allan visit his website at http://www.allanboroughs.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @allanboroughs.