I’m thrilled to welcome Andy Seed to my blog today for the next stop of his Interview with Black Beard and Other Villains blog tour.
Interview with Black Beard and Other Villains is a creative non-fiction book illustrated by Gareth Conway and published by Welbeck Children’s Books. Perfect for fans of the Horrible Histories books, this series offers a fun, fresh take on history, featuring true stories from historical figures from across the world.
Readers can discover more about 10 famous villains who take a quick break from dastardly deeds to answer all sorts of (very nosy) questions about their actions and unique perspectives. Are they as wicked as we’ve been led to believe? Will Andy make it out alive? Discover the good, the bad, and the unexpected as each villain reveals the truth about their lives – and attempts to find out about the future.
In this fun and fact-filled book, bite-sized text in a question-and-answer format is paired with engaging illustrations, perfect for reluctant readers and humour-seeking history fans. Featuring interviews with Blackbeard, Ivan the Terrible, Nero and more – plus bonus facts about the time period and its events.
Andy Seed is a prolific author who writes for both adults and fiction, poetry and fun information books for children full of facts, figures, lists and true stories. He likes making things and his favourite food is cheese. He believes the world would be a better place if more people read more books. He is a Blue Peter award-winning author, based in Gloucestershire. He is the author of the popular Q&A Animals series: Interview with a Tiger and Other Clawed Animals Too, Interview with a Shark and Other Ocean Creatures Too and Interview with a Kangaroo and Other Marsupials Too.
My stop on the tour will take the form of an author interview question and answer style just like the book.
Welcome to my blog. I must say a creative non-fiction book written up as interviews is such a great concept for a fact-filled children’s book. I wish I’d thought of it. You have been interviewing all these villains and now it is my time to interview you.
Please tell us a little about yourself and the inspiration for your book Interview with Blackbeard and Other Vicious Villains.
Hello! I’m the author of over 30 factual books for children and love to add a dash of giggle to the things I write. I live in a forest, which is handy because I write about wildlife a lot, and my other big interest is history. The past is a rich and bottomless bubbling well of remarkable people and strange happenings!
Interview with Blackbeard was inspired by the popularity of the series of animal Q&A books I have written for Welbeck beginning with Interview with a Tiger. I thought, if I can build a machine to enable me to chat to animals then why can’t I twiddle a few circuits and turn it into a time machine? It wasn’t easy but, it’s amazing what you can do with a some spare coat hangers and a Swiss Army Knife…. So, now I talk to anyone from the past. Nice.
Why did you decide to write a book about villains for children?
Villains do all the really bad things that most of us would never dare to do (because our mums would be FURIOUS). And they cause a lot of trouble. Trouble is interesting! There are plenty of well known baddies in history but also lots of really nasty people that we mainly don’t know – my book features a mix of the two. In an interview you can of course ask villains why they do the big bad crimes and it’s interesting to see things from their point of view.
Which of the famous villains in your book is your favourite and why?
I like Victor Lustig as a character because he was a clever trickster who sold the Eiffel Tower twice! Of course he didn’t own the tower but he was good at pretending he did, and he made a lot of cash out of it. But I think my overall favourite maybe the Chinese pirate Zheng Yi Sao. She was probably the most BOSS buccaneer in history. She led a fleet of 226 robber boats and had 17,000 pirates under her command at the age of just 30! OK, she did cut off my arm during the interview but I went back in time and managed to return with it still intact, hehe.
How do you keep the children turning the pages?
Ask good questions, make it fun, be a bit cheeky toward famous people and present the real facts of their lives in story form, picking out some juicy snippets. It’s an enjoyable way to bring history alive.
Do you have plans to write any more books in the same Q&A style as Interview with Blackbeard? If so, please tell us a little about them?
Yes! There is already Interview with Cleopatra and other Famous Rulers, but in the pipeline is Interview with Vincent Van Gogh and other Great Artists. We meet the top talent from the world of painting and they have some zinging tales to tell!
I like quiet and so I write at home but when it’s warm I sit outside on the patio in our garden which is next to a babbling brook. I can listen to the birds singing and our cat demanding food. I am very much an outdoors person.
Thank you Andy for agreeing to be interviewed as part of my blog. It has been great interviewing you. I hope you enjoyed being the interviewee rather than the interviewer for a change.😊
To find out more about Andy Seed and his book you can look at his website is www.andyseed.com and follow him on Twitter at @andyseedauthor.
You can buy copies of Andy Seeds books from most independent booksellers or online from uk.bookshop.org, an organisation with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops.
To see the other stops on the tour take a look at the schedule below:
I would like to thank Antonia Wilkinson for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.