Author Q&As

Andy Griffiths- author of The 52-Storey Treehouse

Tell us about your latest book – what inspired you to write it?


Terry and I  wanted to answer the most frequently asked reader question about how old we are. We also had 13 killer new levels to add to our treehouse. And our publisher, Mr Big Nose, yelled at us to write it OR ELSE. All of which provided more than enough inspiration. 


What do you hope readers will take from your book?


The message that it’s very important to eat your vegetables because the sooner we eat all the vegetables the sooner they will disappear from the face of the Earth and the sooner we can all get back to eating marshmallows and popcorn for every meal. What I hope they DON’T take away is the knowledge of how old we are. The entire book is an attempt to distract them from finding this out. 


Do you use your own experiences when writing?


Totally! The Treehouse series is about two irresponsible idiots who have to get their book done by the deadline but instead of working on their book they waste time doing anything BUT working on their book … which, ironically, becomes the content of their book and the key to meeting their deadline. This is a very accurate description of my own life. The only difference is that in real life I am irresponsible but not an idiot. But Terry Denton is both. 


Which author/s or book/s have had the biggest influence on your work?


Too many to choose from  really, but I’m pretty sure Lewis Carroll, Dr Seuss, Professor Cole, Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl all share some of the blame. 


Do you have a message for aspiring writers?


Read as much—and as passionately—as possible. Write as often as you can and share what you write with others and listen closely to their feedback. Oh yeah, and learn to touch-type: that’s the MOST important. 


How and where do you write? 


I’m writing and composing in my head all the time but I try to find at least 2-3 hours a day to work intensively on my current book. I generally work from notes made on scraps of paper and my iphone and then try to sort them into some sort of order on a word processor. This sorting process forces me to create links and bridges between them and the plots and characters develop out of that. It’s messy and takes a long time. 


Do you have a lucky writing charm?


I still have the Underwood Typewriter I acquired at a school fete when I was in Grade four and which I used to create all my early stories on. It reminds me that writing is a form of play … not work.