Angie Sage Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Angie Sage
Photo: Gorsefield Photography

Angie Sage

An interview with Angie Sage

An Interview with Angie Sage

You have written many picture books and chapter books for children. What was it that inspired this, your first novel, Septimus Heap?
I have had the character of Septimus in my head for a long time- and the world he lived in too. I knew Septimus was someone who was in a strange and hostile world who did not have a clue about who he really was. But t was only when Marcia suddenly jumped into the picture that the story began to happen. She was so bossy and just insisted that I had to keep on writing – and you don't say no to Marcia.

When you began writing, did you know what would happen to Septimus, or did the story and the characters unfold as you wrote?

I knew what would happen to Septimus in the end, but I did not know exactly how he would get there, or who he would meet on the way. That's the exciting thing about writing the world that he lives in - so many creatures and people just appear and make things happen.

Tell us a little more about the world you have created – the Castle, the Port, the Forest, the Marshes … is any of it based on places you know and love?
The whole slightly off-the-wall feeling of the place comes from living in Cornwall, England!

The Castle is really a huge walled city – I love history and I've based it on ancient walled cities – the ones that were completely self sufficient and almost little nation states in their own right. It is also a bit of wish fulfillment as I think it would be a great place to live.

The Port is a mixture of lots of different harbors around here, but much bigger. I love the buzz a place gets when boats are arriving from – well it could be anywhere. I see the Port as somewhere like that, full of beginnings and adventures- and endings too.

The Forest comes from the old medieval Forests which were huge and were a law unto themselves. Scary to be in if you were a stranger, but free from the authority of the outside world if you belonged.

The Marshes are based on all the boggy bits at the end of the creek that I live on, and made much, much bigger. I took a canoe up there a couple of years ago, along the smallest ditches it would travel through. I thought what fun it would be to do that as part of a journey. All the tides and the phases of the moon are real and the times of high and low tide are those for Falmouth, Cornwall.

Is it true that you yourself have a boat called Muriel?
Yes, it is. She is just like Muriel in the book. She is a picarooner, a little open boat used for herring fishing in coastal waters (although my Muriel would not know a herring if one jumped up and bit her). She is green and has dark red sails. She also has an outboard motor which I don't think Nicko would approve of.

At the core of Septimus Heap is the warmth and strength of the Heap family. What are some of their qualities that you most admire?
I like their chaotic acceptance of life, and the fact that they don't do what they are told by authority if they think it is wrong. Stuff happens to them that makes their life difficult at times but they don't moan about things, they just get on and sort it out as best they can. They are remarkably accepting of other people, I think because they are so strong as a unit.

They are also a family which becomes separated by circumstances- and I wanted to show that families can still be close to each other and care for each other even though they live apart. The family relationships develop as the books progress, and are central to the story.

Can you give us a hint about what might happen in the next book in the Septimus Heap trilogy?
Jenna discovers a few secrets, people are reunited, and we discover that not all Heaps are good ...

We have to ask … do you believe in magyk?
"Yes, of course!"

Unless otherwise stated, this interview was conducted at the time the book was first published, and is reproduced with permission of the publisher. This interview may not be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...
  • Book Jacket: Miss Jane
    Miss Jane
    by Brad Watson
    National Book Award Finalist Brad Watson returns with an intimate novel about one woman's journey to...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Secret Language of Stones
    by M. J. Rose

    "A fantastic historical tale of war, love, loss and intrigue."
    – Melanie Benjamin

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!