I’m thrilled to be hosting authors Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen to celebrate the release of their new book, Never Evers! Their debut novel, Lobsters, was hilarious and sweet, and I’m sure Never Evers will have more of their signature funny dual narrative and awkward moments!
With authors Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen
What is the first book you ever read/remember reading?
TOM: It was a book called ‘Jam’ by Margaret Mahy, which – if I remember correctly (and I may not, since I was probably about 6 when I read it) – was both brilliant and absolutely insane. It was about a bloke who suddenly discovered he could make really amazing plum jam, so he kept making more and more, and it was all his family ever ate. They were quite keen on it at first, but then after a while, they started to get sick of only eating jam, and they started to have all these strange, psychedelic, jam-based nightmares. And they had so much jam they started using it for other things – like glue for the bathroom tiles. I remember being quite knocked out by it at a young age – suddenly realising how mad and funny and strange books could be.
LUCY: The Usborne Book of Witches. I just googled it and realized it’s still a bad-ass book. The illustrations are by Stephen Cartwright, whose pictures are just brilliant. In fact I am going to buy a second hand copy right now for my school library. I was extremely into all things witchy as a child and still am now.
What is the first book you wrote (can be published or unpublished)?
TOM: When I was probably 16 or 17 years old, I wrote about three chapters of a novel about graffiti artists in London. I’m not sure if I still have those three chapters, but I’m fairly sure they were the worst three chapters ever written by anyone, ever.
LUCY: The first book I wrote and finished was Lobsters. But before that I wrote some poetry about boys I fancied and how miserable I was that they didn’t fancy me back. Me and Tom also wrote the first episode of a sitcom about a duck!
What is the first book character you loved?
TOM: It was probably William Brown from the Just William stories. I guess I would have been about 10 or so when I read them, and I immediately related to William, and looked up to him. He seemed like a real hero when I was that age – someone who basically did whatever he wanted, loved running around and climbing trees and mucking about with his mates, and generally felt just as frustrated and annoyed by grown-ups as I did.
LUCY: I think Matilda. Which must be the case for literally thousands of people across the world. I often do Matilda as a class read and it’s wonderful to see the kids all falling in love with her too. It never gets old, it never gets less exciting. Matilda is everything I still want to be.
About Never Evers
Kicked out of ballet academy, Mouse is hating the school ski trip. Jack was sure it’d be filled with danger and girls, but hasn’t a clue about either. That’s until French teen sensation Roland arrives in the resort – and Jack’s a dead ringer for him. After Roland persuades Jack to be his stand-in for a day, Jack, in disguise, declares his feelings for Mouse. But what happens when he’s no longer a pop star – will there still be music and magic on the slopes?
About Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison
Lucy Ivison, lives in London and is a school librarian who runs an online teen magazine, Whatever After, as well as teaching in girls’ schools across London specialising in building confidence and creativity. Tom, currently living in Paris, is a journalist and has written for ShortList, Time Out, Vice, talkSPORT, ESPN and Viz.