King’s Crowing Authors with Martin Stewart

It’s (not) Monday* and we have our scheduled King’s Crownng Authors (Cajoling Random Observations Now) interview. Please welcome Martin Stewart.

We are waiting for your wonderfully answers, Martin.








1. What is your main rule to good posture?

I don’t have great posture, so this is a mystery I’d like solved! When writing especially I often slump and pretzel myself around cushions and sofas. Please keep me informed on the progress of your investigation…

2. Jelly sweets are made from boiled animal bones, fancy some candy?
Oh, heavens yes. I have loved, among many others: Chewits, Irn-Bru bars, Wham bars, Jelly Beans, fizzy cola bottles (cherry and original), Astro belts, the entire Haribo family and all things sour. Right this minute I’d walk through fire for a cola Maoam. I have a ridiculously sweet tooth!

4. How do you feel about there being no question three?

A little sad, I have to say- but I’m a fan of the unconventional in moderation and, therefore, I approve.

5. Define what it means to be an Unsettler in 5 words?

Frightening readers with fantastical realism.

6. Why do cats make ideal writing companions when dogs are the superior pet?

I don’t know! It’s true. Slower, more contemplative demeanour? Eyes that project wisdom even when the cat is an absolute eejit? A general sense that they’re more suitable as familiars in contexts that demand magic or alchemy?


7. In a world where books are ripped apart and used for wallpaper you must pick a side. Which will you choose? (The odd page or the even page?)

Even, a thousand times even! I can’t leave the TV/radio volume on an odd number unless it’s a 5. Why would anyone leave their TV volume on, for example, 27? It boggles my mind!

3. List three nouns to the right of you. List three types of confectionery. List three verbs you plan on doing tomorrow. Now use them to make a sentence asking an Unsettled for food.

While reclining on my chocolate sofa tomorrow ‘neath the light from yonder window, and while building the strength and motivation to write post-swim, it would fuel both my spirits and tendons to chew(it) on the succulent flesh of Jelly Babies, if you would be so kind.


8. Of course I didn’t skip having a question 3. Did you know that in Tipperary we pronounce three as tree. It can get confusing. Use tree as three and read out question tree tree times. Did your tongue get a workout?

It did! I enjoy doing my (poor) Irish accent, reserved exclusively for the delivery of quotes from Father Ted.

9. If I say, ‘Blog writing competition using a prompt,’ you say __________

Brilliant. Such a thing worked very well for me, and was tremendous fun too. Writing within boundaries (even if you end up bending them a little, as I always do!) is so useful, and really makes the idea work hard to survive.

10. How do you know you actually exist? Answer in two words.

The smell.


Thank you, Martin.


About Martin Stewart

martin s
Martin Stewart

He is an Unsettler: writing strange and terrifying things for young readers. Debut novel Riverkeep out 2016 from! Represented by Molly Ker Hawn  at the Bent Agency.


He secured his agent, Molly Ker Hawn, on the basis of a submitted MG novel but got his publishing contract with Penguin with another novel based on a short story he wrote as part of a blog prompt on Simon Clark’s blog.

The novel will tell the story of Wulljam, a young boy who must care for his father after he is possessed by a dark spirit, and unwillingly take up his family’s mantle as Riverkeep, tending the river and fishing corpses from its treacherous waters. When he hears that a cure for his father’s illness lurks in the belly of a great sea-dwelling beast known as the mormorach, he embarks on an epic journey down the river that his family has so long protected – but never explored.

The story is inspired by the real life river men of the Glasgow Humane Society who since 1790 have been dedicated to saving the lives of those who fall, either by accident or with grim intent, into waterways in and around the city, and all too frequently have to fish corpses from their depths.

This as-yet-untitled YA novel  is due for publication in the Summer of 2016.

 Excellent interview from Martin and his first, so, Martin I, being King, dub thee crowned.



Read more interviews like this here with Catherine Doyle and Jennifer Niven 

See here for the details on #YAIE where a bunch of readers from Ireland will chat books on Twitter on Wed (Dec 17), 7.30-8.30pm. All are welcome!




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