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JJ Barnes The Table Read

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed young author Riku Fryderyk about what it’s like to release a new book at such a young age, what inspired him to write it, and his creative journey from idea to publication.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

Riku Fryderyk, author of The Witching Hour, interview on The Table Read
Riku Fryderyk, author of The Witching Hour

I am Riku and I am an author. My hobbies are acting and writing books. I love listening to music, as it sometimes makes me more in tune and in the mood of the atmosphere of what I am writing. I have always liked reading books, and ever since I knew how to read, I have been in love with books and there has not been a day when I did not read one.

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When did you first WANT to write a book?

I have WANTED to write a book ever since I KNEW how to write. I have always been interested in it, as I can make up any world that I like and anything is possible in them. I can create infinite worlds that are so unlike our own, and I can push my imagination as far as I want to (until everything starts to get a tiny bit too confusing).

When did you take a step to start writing?

I think it was when I went to school. When I was 8 years old my mum opened Young Writers Club at a local library. She said she wanted me to meet with other likeminded children. At the club we discussed and learnt further how to write, and I loved it. Our stories were published in a local magazine and that was very inspiring and made me want to have even more published work.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

It took me two years. Here were the three steps of my publication:

1- writing my book (when I was 8 years old)

2- signing a contract with Pegasus (when I was 9 years old)

3- Publishing the book (when I was 10 years old)

What made you want to write The Witching Hour?

What inspired me to write this book was ‘The BFG’ by Roald Dahl. After watching the movie and reading the book, I decided to write a book that would change the perception that most people have about the witching hour (as you might know, the first chapter of The BFG is called ‘The witching hour’).

What were your biggest challenges with writing The Witching Hour?

Riku Fryderyk, author of The Witching Hour, interview on The Table Read

There were none with writing, however the editing was quite tiring at times.

Who or what inspired you when creating your Protagonist?

I think the royal family inspired me. I created a character that looked like a young prince who had a wild character that separated him from the rest of his family, and made him discover another world outside of the castle he knew.

Who or what inspired you when creating your Antagonist?

There is no antagonist in the story.

What is the inciting incident of The Witching Hour?

The inciting incident of my book is the witching hour. The prince sees the flying houses and witches and goes to explore. That is the incident that causes the whole adventure to begin.

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What is the main conflict of The Witching Hour?

There is no conflict in this story.

Did you plot The Witching Hour in advance, or fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?

I just wrote freely, without thinking about what was going to happen next at all. It was a totally unplanned book.

Riku Fryderyk, author of The Witching Hour, interview on The Table Read
Riku Fryderyk

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did The Witching Hour need?

I did all of the editing with my mum, she was very helpful. I did all of it and sometimes I was very tired, but we did it anyways. We must have edited the whole book about 6 times. We made some additional editing after the pictures were ready.

The publisher just polished it all off and helped with deciding how much text should be placed next to each picture. I think the way they structured it builds up a nice momentum for each next page of the book to be read.

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a story?

The best ideas are the craziest and the most exciting ones. Writing is supposed to be fun, not plain. You can’t eat chips without ketchup, the same way you should not write without having fun with it.

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Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

The next book I’m currently writing is a thriller about saving the planet and humanity. I have recently broken the world record of the longest book written by a child which was 44,000 words. I am now at 48,000 and I keep writing and writing more J  I am also going way overboard with another book plan on my table, which is inspired by Philip Pullman’s fantastic novel, His Dark Materials.

And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

I am very proud of my accomplishment as it is the biggest thing I have ever achieved. It was very much worth the effort, as publishing a book had always been my biggest dream!

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