When it comes to books and movies, the science fiction genre never lacks new, interesting and exciting stories to tell. This is certainly true for Stewart Hoffman – a natural storyteller from the UK who merges his love for film, books and all things sci-fi in his latest ambition as a writer. He’s the founder of the popular film review blog, Talkie Gazette and author of the new book The Bug Boys– a youth-inspired superpower science fiction adventure.The Bug Boys is the first fictional book self-published by the author, but won’t be the last. In our interview, Stewart shares his plans for future projects and offers his ‘two cents’ on his premier literary venture.
SolShock: How long before you began writing, did you have the idea to create The Bug Boys?
Stewart: I had the idea for The Bug Boys back in 2006. I was at the theatre watching Superman Returns, and started to wonder what I would do if I were to create a superhero adventure. I wanted it to be unique, but also rooted in the real world. Like, if two twelve-year-old boys actually got powers, how would that function within the structure of their regular lives (school, life at home etc.).
SolShock: The first paragraph in your book is quite vivid, with vivid descriptions running throughout. Do you consider yourself very imaginative in general or did you employ extra imagination and creativity for the book?
Stewart: I think I’m fairly creative, and I wanted to give my readers a few surprises. I also think I have a decent sense of humour, and I wanted to write something I would want to read.
SolShock: How is The Bug Boys best read?
Stewart: With beer? Kidding! I’ve actually enjoyed getting feedback from parents who have read the book to their kids. It’s an experience both seem to enjoy. I think it’s because the content of the story (superheroes and alien robots) appeals to children and the humour works with the adults. I’m a fan of the works by Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, and they have certainly informed/guided my comedic sensibilities.
SolShock: The book is mostly aimed at young boys, ages 9 -12. Do you expect young girls will also enjoy it?
Stewart: I think it’ll appeal to anyone that enjoys science fiction and superhero stories. I’ve gotten great feedback from one parent reading the book to his daughter. There have been plenty of questions! I do introduce a couple of important female characters in the second book that will become major players in the series going forward.
SolShock: Rate The Bug Boys movie in your mind, from 1 to 5 Stars as Talkie Gazette would 🙂
Stewart: Well that’s easy! The film version of the book would be made by the Laika animation folks (Boxtrolls, Paranorman) and be directed by Edgar Wright (The Cornetto Trilogy, Scott Pilgrim). Five stars!
SolShock: If you had to choose between Marvel and DC Comics to portray The Bug Boys characters, which would you choose?
Stewart: If I’m only looking at the movies produced over the last two or three years, I’d have to go with Marvel. They have yet to make a genuinely bad film. DC on the other hand, have struggled to transfer their comic content into a memorable experience at the theatre. At least for me. The Bug Boys is a fun light-hearted adventure and would need a light touch.
SolShock: This is your first book. What have you learned and enjoyed most about the process?
Stewart: Going into this project—having spent years analyzing stories in print and at the theatre—I knew I could create something that presented authentic characters, and a credible set of motivations and outcomes. I just needed help with the mechanics! POV, structure, passive voice etc. Going to writer’s critique groups really helped me and I learned a lot while writing this book. Plus, it’s just fun to meet other creative people, and review/help them with their work.
SolShock: Will we see more books from you in the future? If so, which genre?
Stewart: The Bug Boys is going to be a series. I’m currently half way through the second book, and I have a rough plan for the third installment. After that, I might try something else, and all my projects for the foreseeable future will be science fiction.
The Bug Boys is available as a paperback and e-book at Amazon.com and other online outlets. For more information about, The Bug Boys, click here.