BRITISH AUTHOR GUY BASS " ROCKED" THE SCHOOL

uy Bass. An author, an illustrator and a playwright. 37 years old British childrenís book writer Guy Bass, who came to Turkey to attend an international book festival, was with ÷zel ›stanbul Koleji students for a very productive and fun interview. As the author talked about his books, his drives for being a writer and his future plans about literature, he also managed to keep the attention of our students alive all along the activity with different interactive approaches. Being in Turkey for the first time and travelling abroad about his books for the first time, Mr. Bass mentioned that he feels like an international writer at this point although his books are already translated into 8 different languages in the past. Now, letís hear what British author Guy Bass said to us about himself, his books and his aims..

Deniz YAL«IN : What was your drive for your decision of writing childrenís books?

Guy BASS: Thatís a good question. I think I have a bit of a childís heart deep down. I can say that my drive is the child in me.

Erkin D›KER : We know that you are making illustrations too. Do you illustrate your own books ?

Guy BASS: I donít illustrate my own books partly because there are much better illustrators than me. And illustrating takes quite a long time. So, both writing the books and then illustrating them would take twice as much time. I think I prefer writing.

Deniz YAL«IN : In your series ď Dinkin DingsĒ, you are telling the story of a boy who is afraid of almost everything. As a child, what were you afraid of mostly and did your childhood fears inspire you for writing Dinkin Dings series?

Guy BASS: Yes they definitely did. I talk about this subject frequently actually. My biggest fear when I was a child was spiders. I was always terrified of spiders. I think this fear inspired me a lot. And when I was a grown up, I went to a climbing wall once and after climbing for a bit, I looked down and I realized that I was afraid of the height.

I felt I was stuck up there. So yes, my fears inspired me for writing my books.

Erkin D›KER : Do you plan to write novels for adults? What are your plans for the future as a writer?

Guy BASS: Yes, in the future I would like to write books for adults, too, in the future. And right now, I am writing for kids who are a bit older than Dinkin Dings readers, it is for teenagers. I do Picture books, too. I think I will write for adults in the future. Really big adults books maybe. But they would still have pictures in them cause I really like pictures (laughters).

Deniz YAL«IN : We know that you wrote plays for both adults and children. Which one do you prefer, writing plays or childrenís books?


Guy BASS: I definitely prefer writing books. I love writing plays but the thing is, you write a play, you give it to someone, thinking that you wrote the best play in the world. And unfortunately it may go to the garbage. But books are finished products, they are complete. A play belongs to the director but a book belongs to its author and thatís what I like about writing books.

Erkin D›KER : Scary monsters, ghosts, skeletons are the subjects of your books. Why do you want to scare kids? Or do you want to show them that those are not facts to be scared of?

Guy BASS: (laughters) Thatís really good. ď Why are you so mean?Ē ( laughters). I think I am really fascinated by the things that are scary. And the 
things that we donít think are scary may be scary actually.  Dinkin is not scared of skeleton, ghost or the monster under his bed but he is scared of his own reflection and fish fingers and the neighbour girl next door.

At first there were no skeletons, no monsters or ghosts but then Dinkin was really lonely, he didnít have any friends. And those monsters and his ghost and the skeleton saved him from his loneliness.

Deniz YAL«IN : What do you think about Turkey and Turkish people? Have you been in Turkey before?

Guy BASS: Iíve never been to Turkey before, this is my first time. I feel like being dropped into the heart of a big city. It is really hot in Turkey, I sweat a lot. I always think ď Where is the nearest shower?Ē ( laughters). ›stanbul is so huge and it is always busy . I donít want to go back to UK. I might highly possibly come again.

Erkin D›KER : We know that your books are translated into 8 different languages. Do you feel like you are an international writer at this point or does it feel like you have some ways to go to reach there?

Guy BASS: Thatía a good question. When I am at home, they send me the translations of my books. I have this one shelf that I put all my translated books but to be honest, until I came here, to Turkey, just seeing my translated books was not making me feel like an international writer. But now I am here, looking at you kids and seeing that you are reading my books in your own language and enjoying them. That makes me feel international to be honest. Was that a good enough answer for you? Can I call myself a good international writer you think?(laughters). At least just for today.

Deniz YAL«IN : What do you think about Harry Potter series? They include fantastic facts too. Do you find any similarities between your books and Harry Potter books?

Guy BASS: Sales figures, no. (laughters). Harry Potter has more issues about witches and those kinds of more traditional things when my characters are not into them. I think Harry Potter is amazing since it transforms the way people look at childrenís books in the world. But I have to confess that I didnít read the Harry Potter series.

Erkin D›KER : What do you think about childrenís literature in the world? Do you believe that children can get enough of what they should ?

Guy BASS: It is a big question. In the world would say, no. I think most children donít have access to enough good literature. On a global scale it is a huge problem. I wasnít a great reader as a child but I was lucky because I had a great access to lots and lots of books. So, I looked at 100 books but I read only one thatís OK. If I read that one book for 100 times it is still good. There are lots of third world countries whose kids are not as lucky as the kids on the other  parts of the world. They have to deal with lots of different  kinds of problems.
Deniz YAL«IN : What would you be doing if you were not writing books? We read that you grow up dreaming of being a superhero.

Guy BASS: If I wasnít a writer, I donít think I would be a super hero to be honest ( laughters). I donít think I am brave enough. I think I would like to be a cowboy if I was not a writer.

Erkin D›KER : What is your favorite character in your books? Atomic or Dinkin Dings?

Guy BASS: Thatía a tricky question. I think Iíll say Atomic to that. It is partly book and partly comic and thatís the balance.

Deniz YAL«IN : What would you recommend to kids who are interested in writing? What do you think they should be doing to improve themselves about this subject?

Guy BASS: I can say that they should read as much as they can. Just read read read. If you get something, you read it and you didnít like it, then just get rid of it and find something else that you could be interested in.

I am a believer that if you donít like a book, then find the book that you like. It is just like movies.

There are films that you like and films that you donít. When you understand what interests you, you become a better writer. It seems like a very simple thing actually.

If you have some ideas of your own, just write them down. Who knows, maybe those ideas will appear in a book someday.