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The Popcorn Sessions: S.M.Wilson

15 June 2018

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Reading Hackers from St John Payne school in Essex interviewed S.M.Wilson about The Extinction Trials, a dinosaur thriller set in a brutal, ruined world.

What was the inspiration behind the book?

The inspiration was both of my sons. Neither of them are big readers and after buying them a whole stack of books that didn’t really engage them, I asked them what they wanted to read. Young Indiana Jones, young Lara Croft and dinosaurs was what they told me. I thought, “I can do that…”

Are the characters based on real people?

Not at all! They come entirely from my imagination.

What research did you do for the book?

I have every dinosaur book known to man. Some of them are spectacularly detailed and others are for kids. I also emailed the Natural History Museum a few questions along the way and visited the American Museum of Natural History where I spent a very long time in the dinosaur halls!

Do you have any plans for other books outside this trilogy?

My next book is definitely set in space. I am a huge Star Wars and Star Trek fan.

How did you begin writing a book?

I just start. I don’t plan in any way shape or form. I find planning absolutely kills my creative process where some writers can’t even start without pages and pages of plans. That will never be me.

What do you do when you get writer’s block?

I don’t know because I’ve never had it. I work full time and write around 6 books a year in total. I don’t have time for writers block. I think it helps that I write every single day but only around 1000 words.

During the books we saw a relationship building between Stormchaser and Lincoln. How do you see that developing after what happened at the end of the book?

I can’t give away any spoilers! Can you forgive someone who has betrayed you?

How long did it take to write The Extinction Trials?

Around 6 weeks.

What do you like to read when you get the chance? Do you have a favourite author?

I am a huge reader and read a book every night. I’ve loved a few recently, Wicked Deep, The Dollmaker of Krakow, Scythe, After the Fire, They Both Die at the End, Contagion and Warcross.

What are the best and worst parts of being an author?

Worst is waiting to see if people hate your book – one star reviews are never a pleasure! The best parts are seeing the cover of your book for the first time and holding it in your hand. It’s like all the hard work finally means something.