Hey friends. Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Bogeyman by Steve Dover and I am bringing you an interview. Enjoy!
The Bogeyman by Steve Dover
Genre: Middle Grade
Published by: Clink Street Publishing
Release date: 27/10/2020
Where to find: Goodreads | Amazon
Summary: As dusk and dark come earlier when time approaches Autumn and Winter brings calm cold mists to the streets, the lights throw shadows and shapes that awaken imagination and fear. Are they all fleeting shadows or is there one that is something else. The Bogey Man. His abnormality has made him a figure of rejection. Something other than the accepted normal. But he is afraid and he longs only for acceptance and inclusion. The Bogey Man is a metaphor for the less advantaged and those rejected by our prejudices.
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
I really like bringing the ideas to life. When I have an idea and fail to act on that it fades away. Writing gives it life and other dimensions. Once I start writing around the idea it grows and characters grow out of it and begin to fit together. Each poem becomes a complete jigsaw but as well as a picture it has depth in language and sparks imagination. So the words draw the reader into the picture to become part of it and experience the emotion of the stories.
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
The Cat. The Cat is the quiet companion of The Bogeyman. The Bogeyman would be utterly alone in the world without The Cat with the green eyes. Whatever happens, The Cat will always be there. It left the Witches side when she put the horrible curse on the boy who would then grow up to be rejected, shunned and locked out by everyone and everything – except The Cat. Companions in life are crucial to all of us surviving in the world. The Cat is The Bogeyman’s consistent companion.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Tea, Wine, Bloody Mary. Not necessarily in that order and rather depends on the time of day I am writing.
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
When I get stuck for a line or direction, I wander off and do something else. Something easier than seeking the lost line. It’s an incessant annoyance because then it takes longer to finish something and meanwhile I’ve started something else that will also require completing at some point!
How did you research your book?
I don’t research anything. All my writings come from situations and things I see and experience and add imagination to. So for example, The Bogeyman came from when I was a child of about 9. We lived by the River Mersey. My older brother and I would return from choir practice at around 7:00pm. In the winter months, it was dark at this time. All street lamps were tungsten and gave a white light which threw black shadows across the roads and cobbled entrys exacerbated by the fog. I was afraid of the dark and my brother continually teased me about the “Bogey Man” who was hiding behind the black smoking chimney pots on the houses, who would come and get me if I wasn’t careful. Between this and concentrating on not stepping on the joints in the paving slabs lest I was sucked down into the river Mersey, I was terrified! This was written remembering those dark wet nights.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m definitely a “Plantser”. I get the ideas pretty clearly and sometimes I will start at the end and arrive at the beginning of a pieceand then work through it finally in the right order. I am writing my biography at the moment but it starts now and finishes with me being born.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Well in 1976 I was a Knight in a Jousting Troup that travelled the UK putting on medieval jousting shows at some of the most amazing ancient castles in the land. I was actually seeking part time work as a barperson but when I saw the advert “Knights & Squires required for Jousting Troup” I couldn’t believe my luck. I’d always wanted to be a Knight on horseback and there it was – my opportunity to be the persona I wished for. I said I could ride a horse (which I hitherto had not) and proved it by leaping onto one and going full gallop across the field I was being interviewed in and so got the job. I even hand forged my own swords for the shows. In my mind I am still that Knight.
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
Allan Quartermain from King Solomon’s Mines – because ever since seeing the 1937 as a child of 5 I have often dreamt of finding the mines and the pots and heaps of sparkling precious emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds intermingled with gold.
I was born into my working class family in New Brighton opposite Liverpool on the River Mersey in June 1956. My Mum and Dad always said that my sunny disposition and positive attributes were as a consequence of being a summer baby. I perceive the brightness in any dark situation and have the gift of imagination that allows me to see beyond where most people’s sight rests. As a child I was and indeed remain curious and highly mischievous. If there was a dare to be done, I’d do it.
I began writing poetry when I was 8 and still have some of those. I continue to write today about things that I observe – again beyond where other’s sight may cease. For example the latest I am working on is called Wishes On The Breeze which is about autumn leaves falling – each one a wish to be caught or lost. That idea came to me whilst waiting for a bus in a bus stop in Manchester surrounded by dropping leaves.
I saw a hole in the hill in my lawn the other day and saw a whole world beyond that which I explained to my 3 Grandchildren as there being a great lake down there with a City on its shores lit by bright starlight and inhabited by magic people who came out at night into our garden and looked after the fish and frogs in the pond and shielded our house and us from night terrors and danger.
My main profession is leading organisational transformation. Here I am perceived as a bit scary and extremely focused. It starts with helping organisations to build a Vision for their future which I then bring the right Business and Technical people together to bring it into reality. This is intricate and complex work under extreme pressure and working with some very diverse and disparate stakeholder groups. But I seem to have a knack of bringing them all together and focused on desired outcomes.
I have travelled quite extensively and am an honorary Sheikh of The Sultanate of Oman in Arabia. This title was given to me by the Governor of Dhofar – the Southern region of the Sultanate – following my two scientific expeditions to the remotest islands in the Indian Ocean off the Omani coast. These are The Halaniyat Islands. We discovered the very first British Merchant ship (The City of Winchester) sunk as an act of war by the Germans in World War One. I bought the wreck from the British Government for £1. We discovered a new species of Humpback Whale named The Arabian Sea Humpback and found untouched tombs and dwellings over 5,000 years old. And many more things of great wonder. One of the islands has a small population – the Al Shahiri tribe. So my name in Oman is Sheikh Steve Al Shahiri.
I am a scuba diving instructor and have been diving around the UK waters and all over the world for 40 years and still bubbling. I taught all three of my children to dive. They are all grown up now but as small children used to love my poems – many of which were specifically written for them. I have driven a tank and fired the gun; I have escaped a war between Iraq and Iran by crossing the desert to Jordan; I have dived in places that no other person had ever seen and discovered many magical things.
Life to me is a bright light only sometimes dimmed by pain or loss. I still feel the summer sun on my face – even in the coldest of times.