With a week to go before Podkin One-Ear’s adventures continue in The Beasts of Grimheart, the third book of the series, we find out from author Kieran Larwood the inspiration behind the Five Realms and ask, why rabbits?
We are very excited for the tale to continue in The Beasts of Grimheart. Can you give us a teaser of what’s to come for Podkin and co. in the next book?
Lots more danger and close shaves! The Gorm ramp up their evilness in the next book, and Podkin, Paz and Pook have to find a way to stop them. There are plenty of new characters, more of the magic Gifts and even an epic battle. I think this one was my favourite to write so far, so I’m hoping the readers enjoy it.
The sibling dynamic between Podkin, Paz and Pook is so organic and enjoyable for readers, young and old. Is your ability to depict this sibling relationship so naturally down to personal experience?
I think so! I was one of three, and I have three children myself, so I’m quite used to constant squabbling (and the occasional bit of tenderness). Podkin is the middle child who, in my experience, always has a bit of a hard time getting attention. I also wanted to capture some of the frustration younger siblings feel when their older brother or sister seems to be better at everything than them.
This might be a question you get a lot… are rabbits your favourite animal? What is it about them that made you choose to create a world where rabbits rule?
I do like rabbits, but I’m not obsessed with them, despite evidence to the contrary.
The idea came from lots of doodles I had done over the years of rabbits with swords and armour. I thought it would be a good setting for a fantasy world, with warrens instead of cities. There is also a reason that the world is filled with rabbits, but you won’t find out until later books.
You live on the Isle of Wight – how has your environment inspired the fictional landscape of the Five Realms?
The Island is an amazing place to live, with lots of different natural settings in a small area. I spend a lot of time out and about in the countryside, and all of the descriptions of forests, downs and woodlands come from there. I’m often snapping photos of moss-covered logs and mushrooms for reference. Luckily my family are used to my strange habits.
Have you found the perfect place to sit and write? If not, where do you usually work?
I’m really struggling with this at the moment. I have a desk in the corner of the bedroom, but my street isn’t the quietest of places. It’s not too bad when I’m editing, but for writing the first draft I like to have a bit of peace. I usually end up borrowing somebody else’s house when they are out, but I would love to have my own studio (preferably soundproofed, with a nice view to stare at).
Can readers expect more Podkin One-Ear adventures to come?
Definitely! Book 4 is being edited as we speak, and is due out in September 2019.
The Beasts of Grimheart publishes on the 6th September and is available to pre-order from Faber & Faber here
For more information about the author, visit his website