Earlier this year we were very excited to include The Great Fox Illusion, the very exciting debut by Justyn Edwards, in our subscription box for confident readers. It really got us thinking about a range of themes and topics, from friendship to trickery to reality TV. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to ask Justyn a few questions; here's what he had to say about writing, reading and magic tricks!
What came first to you for The Great Fox Illusion, the plot or the characters?
I had a version of Flick first, but no story to put her in. Later I came up with the concept of The Great Fox Illusion and realised she was the perfect fit.
What did you learn while writing this book and has it already helped as you continue to write?
As this was my debut, I learned an awful lot! Working with an editor at Walker is a real privilege, and I’ve learned so much about how best to tell my stories from her advice. I’ve been very fortunate to have a different editor for my second book - The Great Fox Heist, and to have my first editor return for the third book in the series. From all this experience and different inputs you can learn a tremendous amount.
Which of Flick’s qualities and strengths are you most proud of?
I think her tenacity. She does not give up easily – as hopefully will become apparent in the third Great Fox book. It’s a quality we all need.
What kind of research did you have to undertake for this book?
I didn’t know much about how magic tricks worked before writing this series, so as you can imagine, there was a lot of research around that. It was really fascinating.
Do you have a favourite illusion or magic trick?
I’ve learned to do a few for my school visits, and then I work with the pupils to figure out how they're done. I usually like to leave them to puzzle over at least one trick which I don’t explain, and as a result I’ve come to rather enjoy a few of these. Occasionally, they verge on being almost good.
If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?
That the first time you write something it won’t be any good. In fact, the first twenty attempts will all be awful, but if you persist, you can start to make it better.
What is your ideal place to curl up with a good book?
I have a very comfy armchair which is always a treat, especially if accompanied by coffee and cake!
The second book in the Great Fox series, The Great Fox Heist, is also now available from Walker Books, and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for the third installment!