Maz Evans has cemented herself as a rising star in middle-grade fiction with her bestselling series, Who Let The Gods Out?. Book 1 was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Books Are My Bag Reader Awards, and book 2 has been published to critical acclaim. We caught up with Maz as she celebrates the publication of her third novel in the series, Beyond The Odyssey, a raucous new adventure.
Tell us a bit about your latest book… without giving any spoilers away of course.
Of course! In Beyond The Odyssey, Elliot goes on a perilous voyage in the hope of finding Panacea’s Potion, a mythical medicine rumoured to cure all ills. He’s determined to save his Mum – but does the potion even exist…?
If you could choose to be one Greek god/goddess for the day, which would it be?
Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…
Your books are often described as laugh-out-loud funny. Do you feel any pressure to keep the laughs coming with every book you write?
That’s very kind of anyone to say! I don’t feel any pressure, I feel privileged if I’m making people laugh. My writing never makes me laugh, so I’m having to go on gut and trust that other people will find it funnier than I do!
Where do you get your ideas from?
I have precisely no idea! They are tricksy things and I’m terrified one day the well will run dry. But I think being open to life’s experiences – reading, movies, conversations, news – definitely keeps the seed-bed fertilised. Then you just hope that something grows!
Recently you set up the BookBuddy scheme. Can you tell us about it and how people can get involved?
BookBuddy is a means for lovely people to give new or used books to a school near them that really needs them. Schools can sign up at www.bookbuddy.org.uk and lovely people can check out the map and match with a school to give them books. It’s joyful.
What one piece of advice would you give budding writers out there?
Writing is editing (sorry – boring, but true). My first work is never my best work. Writing is shovelling sand. Editing is making sandcastles.
Beyond the Odyssey, written by Maz Evans, published by Chicken House is out now. Follow the adventure on Twitter with @maryaliceevans