5-4-3-2-1: Jo Cotterill

As a huge fan of Electrigirl, written/illustrated in a brilliant mash-up of prose and graphic novel by the superbly talented Jo Cotterill and Cathy Brett, I’m incredibly excited for Electrigirl and the Deadly Swarm, out today from OUP! I celebrated by getting Jo to take on 5-4-3-2-1.

5 TV shows you can watch all day long (when not busy writing):

Castle: US series starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. He’s a bestselling crime writer who’s been allowed to follow around a NYPD homicide team headed by her. It’s slick, polished, and ridiculously silly. But it also has a great chemistry between the two leads.

Strictly Come Dancing: the sequins! the dancing! Claudia Winkleman!

The Night Manager: just put it on eternal repeat, OK?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: broke new ground in so many ways. The writing is superb and the casting sublime.

Masterchef: I love this show because it’s eternally positive. The contestants get better and better in each round, and Greg and John are such optimists, despite continual let-downs: ‘You’re FOUR MINUTES OVER, Jane…’ ‘Your presentation lets you down AGAIN…’ *shakes head sadly* Buttery biscuit base? I’m in.

4 Authors you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island

John Dougherty: he could bring his guitar and we’d have a jolly singsong. Plus he’s one of my bestest author mates ever.

Susie Day: I suspect Susie would be extremely practical, and she wouldn’t moan at hard work looking for food or building shelters. Or maybe she would moan, but she’d be hilarious while doing it.

Steve Cole: he plays bass, so with my keyboards, we’d have a full author band. And he’s researched loads of stuff about survival for Young Bond, so he’d be very useful. Plus he likes climbing, so we could send him out to scale waterfalls and things.

Sally Nicholls: because every group needs someone who’s mad as a box of frogs. And she, Susie and I would pretend we were in the Famous Five, though we would probably argue about which one of us could be George.

3 Pieces of advice you’d give yourself if you could travel back in time to before you became a published author

Keep all those rejection letters. Because in the future, you’ll want to count up how many you had before you made it, and you can’t do that if you’ve thrown them away. Plus in the future, you won’t get rejections via snail mail so there’ll be nothing to keep.

Take an art course. Later, you’ll wish you could draw at least a little better, so that you can illustrate your own blog posts and maybe do drawing at school events, because audiences love that and you’re rubbish at it.

Learn the guitar. Because then you can write theme songs for your own books a la John Dougherty and sing them at events and everyone will think you’re really cool.

2 Items of swag you’d love to see made

Electrigirl t-shirts for all! Plus lemon jewellery (to go with my book A Library of Lemons) like the earrings and necklace I made for my launch, that we could sell with the book.

1 place you love to read

In the bath. Seriously, who doesn’t? It’s like the perfect place.

Find out more about Jo Cotterill and her books here.

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