Book People: DC Green
Book People: DC Green
‘Monster School’ by DC Green has been sitting in my pile of bedside reading for some time now and if I’m honest, it was getting to the bottom of said pile as I don’t generally consider myself a fan of monster themed literature; too easily scared! However I have been knee deep in readings for uni of late and one night when I thought I might throw a huge textbook at a wall I decided I needed something to spirit me away to another place altogether – so ‘Monster School’ it was! I thought I would just read a teeny tiny piece of this book (humble apologies DC!) but in fact I read late into the night, greatly enjoyed the entire book and for one night I altogether forgot about my information architecture readings. ‘Monster School’ is the first in what is to be a trilogy and I look forward to the next installment. Set in a futuristic world where goblins rule, monsters of all kinds abound and humans are endangered, this series will be greatly enjoyed by readers from about 10 years (and their teachers and parents!). The story is fast paced, richly detailed, disgusting and funny in equal measure and there are some excellent messages about acceptance and tolerance carefully woven throughout. I’m always so in awe of the minds and imaginations behind books such as ‘Monster School’, so I’ve asked DC Green to a part of my ‘Book People’ series and answer my ten questions! Enjoy!
1.Tell us about your latest book.
Monster School is a novel about a gang of misfit kids trying to fit in at school. Sounds like a million other such stories, right? Except these kids include a naïve swamp monster, a giant spider prankster, a deodorant-challenged zombie and a 5,000-year old teenage mummy whose internal organs are stored in jars. The school they attend is Monstro Central, located inside a giant ant hill, and dominated by mafia goblins!
The first book of the City of Monsters series, Monster School (Ford Street Publishing) features awesome black and white illustrations by Danny Willis and is the perfect gift for ages 10-110. I’ve been thrilled by the super-positive reviews – so far!
I started writing mini-comics when I was in infants’ school. In high school, I won the Victorian Ministry of the Arts Award for a Young Writer and had my first story published in a surfing magazine. After years of writing as a surf journalist, I began work on my first children’s novel around a decade ago. I’ve been loving that direction ever since.
3. What does a typical day look like for you?
If there are any waves, I like to start my morning with a surf – preferably with a gorgeous sunrise and a pod of leaping dolphins. After that, my day is usually a mix of organising my daughter, booking schools for my author visits, patting cats, emails, paperwork, housework, facebook and other forms of online procrastination speckled with occasional bursts of actual writing.
4. Can you describe your workspace for us?
My computer desk is tucked in a lounge room nook with views to a distant ocean over cow-studded pastures. My desk is generally adorned with coffee cups, precarious piles of notes and bills and at least one purr-rumbling cat.
For readers: keep on reading! For writers: the most important skill is learning how to edit and to push your stories through multiple drafts. Rewriting can turn a good story into a great story, or a great story into the truly remarkable.
6. Do you have a favourite book or character (your own or somebody else’s)?
My favourite character at the moment is Kalthazari the dragon from Monster School. Sorry to like one of my own characters, but I just couldn’t help it. I spent so much time imagining the mightiest, oldest, most terrifying and magnificent monster I could, and I think she ended up rather awesome.
7. If you were not a creator of books for young people what would you be?
I love using my imagination, being creative and making people laugh (and occasionally ponder). There is only one other occupation I can think of that combines those qualities. I guess that means I’ll have to become a circus clown!
I like to chomp on some dark chocolate when my brain needs an energy zing. My music mustn’t be too slow, because I might doze off, or too fast, because I might abandon my computer and bust out a few dance-moves, which would embarrass both my daughter and cats. Like Goldilocks, my music must be just right!
9. How much of yourself or people you know is in your books?
Plenty! To add honesty and authenticity, I constantly draw upon people I know, as well as my own emotions and experiences. However, I always try to mix up personality traits and physical descriptions so that none of my characters are direct lifts from real life. If I didn’t do that, all my friends would run away whenever they spotted me!
10. If you could have one wish for the world what would it be?
I have a passion for the natural world and would love my great-great grandchildren to grow up in a world that still included polar bears, bilbies, blue whales, coral reefs and rainforests. Oh, and books!