Richard Dikstra

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Tigeropolis - Caught in the Trap. It's the third in the Tigeropolis series. The tigers are making a success of running the wildlife park, but things suddenly get serious when a gang of international poachers threaten everything. The books are inspired by my real life involvement working with conservation experts in India. 

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

I come from a film and television background, so I like to think in pictures. 

What authors, or books have influenced you?

I really like non fiction books, so for me it's often as much about the subject as it is about the author. I particularly like books about the Cold War and the Space Race. That said, as far as children's books are concerned, I really admire the books of Roald Dahl - inventive, funny and mischevious. In terms of adult fiction, I've just finished re-reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (must have appealed to my Scottish upbringing). In terms of my Tigeropolis series - it's extensively illustrated, so much of the humour is influenced by various cartoon series I've watched over the years. 

What are you working on now?

I'm about to start the third Adventures of Captain Bobo series. I'm also sketching out the ideas for the fourth Tigeropolis book - in the fourth book there is a really complex puzzle the tigers have to solve if they are ever to save the day and I'm keen to make it work both on the written page and also visually. 

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Simple - you've got to write it down and then you've got to go out and show your work to people, remember comments and feedback are helpful. 

What is the best advice you have ever heard?

An editor is your friend - trust them. 

What are you reading now?

Currently I'm reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles which I think has a great mix of humour and whimsy, with a nice dash of politics.

What's next for you as a writer?

School books tours.

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