Origin Story: David Rogers

1024 601 Writer and the Wolf Editorial

First up in the new Origin Stories series is the lovely David Rogers, author of middle grade sci-fi adventure CHOMP! Charlie Carter and the Monster PikeI did a developmental edit for David way back in January 2020 and had so much fun with it – how could anyone not have fun surrounded by so many fish puns? David went on to self-publish the book and really worked his butt off with marketing and getting it into stores (and check out his website – it’s a triumph!). He’s currently working on the sequel but found time to answer a few questions about the books that shaped him into the kidlit author he is today.

What book are you currently reading?

I bought The Kid Who Came From Space by Ross Welford on a whim, just for something to read the last time I was in an airport waiting for a plane. Seems a lonnng time ago now but it turned out to be one of those books that you just can’t put down. Due to lockdown, the last book I read was Outdoor Kitchens as we’re trying to make the best possible use of our garden!

What’s one book you’d recommend to aspiring middle grade or YA authors?

For me, The Giant Under The Snow written by John Gordon in 1968 is still a magical, gripping and sometimes terrifying book which even now my mum can’t read as it gives her the heeby-jeebies. When I first read it at ten years old (blimey – 47 years ago now!) it transported me to a world of hidden dangers and dark magic where anything could happen. Great writing, great book. Did I mention that I recently optioned it and we’re making it into a film…?

What’s the last book you loved?

One of my most treasured books is Tail End Charlie by John Wainwright that belonged to my dear old dad. It tells the harrowing true-story of a rear gunner in a Lancaster Bomber during World War Two. He survived the war, inwardly scarred and quite possibly a changed man. What he did was heroic and unimaginable today but like most of these men and women who served in the war, they hate to be called heroes.

What’s your favourite book of all time?

This is a hard one! But it’s another of my dad’s books… it’s For Valour, The Air VC’s by Chaz Bowyer. It’s a collection of true stories about various airmen who earned the Victoria Cross for gallantry in the air during wartime. One absolute hero even climbed out on the wing of a Lancaster Bomber over Nazi Germany to try and put an engine fire out. Is that the subject of my next book…? Could be!

The first book you fell in love with

A Pictorial History of Horror Movies by Denis Gifford.

A book that was so good you just had to write your own

Jaws by Peter Benchley

A book that taught you something about writing you didn’t know

Anything by David Walliams whose written words sometimes leap off the page (sometimes they don’t even fit on the page!) and I realised then that’s how I wanted my books to look and to read like.

A book that really captured what it feels like to be a child

The TinTin and Asterisk range of books… wonderful storytelling and all highly visual, of course.

A book you always recommend or give people

Mine! CHOMP! Charlie Carter and the Monster Pike. Kids tell me they love reading it so I’m always very thrilled and honoured when I hear that.

A children’s book you read for the first time as an adult

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner.

A book by a favourite author

The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner

A book that made you want to write middle grade

Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams

A book that got you hooked on a particular genre of fiction

The Pan Book of Horror Stories is how I fell in love with the horror genre. Goosebumps made me want to try horror stories for kids!

About today’s author

David Rogers works in events and film production. CHOMP! Charlie Carter and the Monster Pike is his debut novel and the first in a planned series. You can buy it from Amazon, Bookshop or Waterstones. Here’s a little bit about it:

There’s something in the water.

Something big. Something deadly.

When fishermen and swimmers start going missing on the Thames, the Police think it’s the work of a maniac serial killer. Then a newspaper THE DAILY ECHO gets wind of a monster pike on the loose and puts up a bounty of ONE MILLION POUNDS for anyone who can catch it. The papers call it ‘The English Jaws’ and a crazy monster hunt ensues.

But can the NET be closed on the Monster Pike or is something FISHY going on? Will the Newspapers ever stop CARPING on about it and why are Special Agents from the mysterious Fizz trying to MUSSEL their way in? Will Charlie Carter help them all out just for the HALIBUT or is that just a FISHcious rumour?

COD alone knows where this nightmare creature came from so will Charlie Carter have the opporTUNAty to save the day? Who will be the SOLE survivor? Any FIN is possible in this book!



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Siobhan O'Brien Holmes

Siobhan O'Brien Holmes is a developmental editor working with middle grade and YA authors. She specialises in speculative and genre fiction, particularly horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and anything with a dash of magic or macabre. She is a member of the SfEP, EFA, ACES, British Fantasy Society, Horror Writers Association and SCBWI. She has an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children's Literature.

All stories by: Siobhan O'Brien Holmes