Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Philip Ardagh Interview, plus links to author biography, book summaries, excerpts and reviews

Philip Ardagh

Philip Ardagh

How to pronounce Philip Ardagh: ar-der

An interview with Philip Ardagh

Philip Ardagh gives advice to budding young writers, discusses where he gets his ideas and why he chose to become a writer.

What gave you the idea for the Eddie Dickens Trilogy?

I simply wanted to set an adventure in the days of Charles Dickens and beyond. The characters developed from there.

Do you know anyone like the Dickenses?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You should meet my family!

What made you choose to be a writer?

I went to 'proper school' when I was two-and-a-half years old. No play group for me. My big brother was at school so I wanted to go . . . and I always loved writing. My dad used to be given lots of business diaries come Christmas and I'd fill them with squiggles and pretend writing and -- hey presto -- I had a book with a cover and everything. Then I began to get (very) short stories printed in school magazines and I'd sit in my dad's study and do pretend typing on his gun-metal gray portable typewriter until I jammed the keys so badly, one time, that I was banned from that activity! So, from very early on, I discovered that I liked the thinking process, the sharing of the ideas process and the physical act of writing itself; whether with pen or by keyboard.

Where do you get your ideas from?

I wish I had a simple answer, such as 'www.fresh-ideas-for-books.com' or '23 Ainsley Avenue' or 'from an old box I found in the attic,' but it is much more complicated than that. Ideas are often thoughts put down on paper, developed and refined . . . in other words: I don't really know, they just happen and I nurture them along and turn them into something.

What advice would you give to budding young writers?

Keep reading and get writing. Once you've got something down on paper you can always go back to it and make it better. The hardest thing is getting started. If you're stuck for ideas, take an everyday situation and think, 'What if . .?' For example: 'What if I wake up tomorrow and find that. We grown ten feet overnight?' From that simple idea you can start wondering what you'd do about getting clothes to fit; what your parents might think and your friends might say; what the advantages and disadvantages of being so huge might be, and so on and so on.

What is your favorite color?

That often changes. At the moment it's the orangy-yellow of a fried egg . . . tomorrow it might be the particular pink of an iced Bakewell tart, or the red of a tomato, or the deep, dark brown of chocolate . . .

What is your favorite smell?

My favorite smell is that of the paper of a brand new book.

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" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Philip Ardagh at BookBrowse
Terrible Times jacket Dreadful Acts jacket A House Called Awful End jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Philip Ardagh but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Author Image Not Available

    N.E. Bode

    N. E. Bode doesn't really want a biographical note -- afraid that it might turn out like the shameless self-promotional grandstanding of a certain former Writing Teacher. Instead N. E. Bode wants to mention the books of ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Dreadful Acts

    Try:
    The Anybodies
    by N.E. Bode

  • Georgia Byng

    Georgia Byng

    Georgia Byng is the creator of Molly Moon and the author of Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism; Molly Moon Stops the World; Molly Moon’s Hypnotic Time Travel Adventure; Molly Moon, Micky Minus, & the Mind ... (more)

We recommend 13 similar authors


Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Clear
    Clear
    by Carys Davies
    John Ferguson is a principled man. But when, in 1843, those principles drive him to break from the ...
  • Book Jacket: Change
    Change
    by Edouard Louis
    Édouard Louis's 2014 debut novel, The End of Eddy—an instant literary success, published ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...
  • Book Jacket: Becoming Madam Secretary
    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray
    Our First Impressions reviewers enjoyed reading about Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Half a Cup of Sand and Sky
by Nadine Bjursten
A poignant portrayal of a woman's quest for love and belonging amid political turmoil.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Flower Sisters
    by Michelle Collins Anderson

    From the new Fannie Flagg of the Ozarks, a richly-woven story of family, forgiveness, and reinvention.

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.