Posts tagged Brian Falkner

Fast Five with Brian Falkner

1. Why did you want to be a writer? 

Don’t know. Just always did. Maybe because I was a keen reader as a child.

2. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Visiting schools and literary festivals and meeting your audience. Without that, it would be quite a solitary vocation.

3. What’s your favourite New Zealand book?

Aarrgh! Don’t make me choose. Too many brilliant books to choose from.

4. What do you love most about New Zealand?

The people. The climate. Rangitoto. The beaches. Lots of other things. I miss NZ!

5. What book changed your life?

Any one of the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton. These were a revelation for me. It was fabulously exciting (with lashings of fun) to find a new Enid Blyton book was in the library when I was young. I am sure that these books are part of the reason that I became a writer.

Brian Falkner is the author of The Tomorrow Code, The Real Thing, Brainjack, Northwood, and his latest book, Team Recon Angel: Assault.

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Best Books of 2011

Thanks to everyone who voted in our Best Books of 2011 Competition.  The votes have been counted and we can now announce the winners.  The best Kids book of 2011 is Northwood by Brian Falkner and the best Young Adult book of 2011 is Plague by Michael Grant.  You can see how many votes each book got in the polls below.

Everyone who entered went into the draw to win the Top 5 books and the winners are:

  • Kids – Annahlise Hall
  • Young Adult – Rebecca Deakins

       

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Guest Post: Brian Falkner – Alien Invasion!

When I was a young reader the two kinds of books I most liked were science fiction, and the thrillers of Alistair McLean.

It so happened that a year or so ago my glance fell on a copy of “Where Eagles Dare” by Alistair McLean, and the idea popped into my head to combine my two favourite kinds of books. So I set out to write an Alistair McLean inspired science fiction war thriller. I even named the first chapter “Where Angels Fear” as a tribute to McLean.

I wanted to write a book that was exciting and action-packed from the get-go, and didn’t let up until the very end. Yet at the same time I wanted to have characters that seemed believable and interesting. I have read other “action-packed” books where the characters were just a flimsy excuse to move the action from one scene to the next, and I didn’t want to write that kind of book, because I want the reader to care about the characters.

When I started developing the idea for the book, I quickly realised that it was too big for a single book, and it would have to be a series, each with their own story. I eventually decided on four books, although I have left it open to write more books if I want to later.

I wanted to write a series of war stories, but I didn’t want it set so far in the future that it became Space Opera, with laser guns and spaceships. (I love Star Wars and those kinds of stories, but I wanted this to be different.) I wanted this to be more like a real war, with weapons that were close to those we have now, but just a little bit futuristic. I wanted the conflict to seem real, and the introduction and the forward are all part of setting the scene for a realistic war, that just happens to be against aliens, not human beings.

For the name of the alien race, I wanted harsh sounds, and it had to include a Z (you’ll understand why, if you read the book). After trying out a lot of names, I was eventually inspired by the word “Buzzard” which conjures up images of an ugly, carrion-eating bird. So the aliens became “Bzadians” which incorporates the same sounds.

Writing “Assault” the first book of the Recon Team Angel series, was a wild ride, and I hope you enjoy reading it just as much.

Pictured are the NZ and the US covers.

Cheers

Brian

You can read Chapter One of The Assault here.

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Guest Post: Brian Falkner on 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Northwood

Brian Falkner’s new book, Northwood is one of the best books I’ve read lately. I always enjoy his books because they’re really unique.  I asked Brian if could tell us a little bit about Northwood, so here are 10 things you didn’t know about Northwood.

1. Northwood, Lake Rosedale, Brookfield, and many of the other place names in the book are real places in Albany where I used to live.

2. When it says at the beginning “usually at this stage of a story the person telling it has some idea of how it will end, but I can tell you quite honestly that I have no idea at all” … that was true! I wrote the first chapter without any idea what would come next. The story just grew naturally and I found out what was going on one chapter at a time!

3. To some extent Northwood was inspired by my favourite Roald Dahl book: Matilda. I wanted to write a book like that about a girl with a special ability.

4. The very last sentence in the book is based a quotation from Bhudda that I found intriguing. I actually used this quote also in Brainjack, but it got removed in the final edit.

5. As a kid I loved Enid Blyton books, full of mystery and secret passageways. I always wanted to include a secret passageway in one of my books, and finally I did, in Northwood!

6. The story of Princess Annachanel of Storm was originally going to be a book by itself. The idea sat around for a long time and I never managed to turn it into a book, so I decided to include it as part of Northwood. I thought it worked well and added a sense of history to Castle Storm.

7. Jana, who comes from the Bahamas, originally spoke in “Broken English” which is a version of English spoken in the Bahamas. However it was a bit hard to understand, so we changed it to English, with just of tint of the Bahamanian style of talking.

8. I once had to spell rhododendron at a Trivia night, and failed.

9. Mr Jingles,who owns the safari park in Northwood, was the name of the mouse in a Stephen King story called “The Green Mile”.

10. My favourite line in Northwood is when Cecilia tries to explain to the twins where pizza comes from. I won’t explain it, you have to read it.

I hope you enjoy reading Northwood as much as I enjoyed writing it!

See ya

Brian

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Northwood by Brian Falkner

The best books grip you from the first few sentences and you want to keep reading until you get to the end.  Northwood  by Brian Falkner is one of those books.  Here are the opening sentences:

“This is the strange story of Miss Cecilia Undergarment and the black lions of Northwood.  It is probably not true, but who really knows for sure.”

Straight away, you want to know all about Cecilia Undergarment (like why does she have such a funny name?), why the story is so strange, and what are black lions?  So now you’re sucked into the story and want to find out what happens to Cecilia.

Cecilia Undergarment lives with her extraordinary family in her extraordinary house, which is shaped like a huge bunch of balloons (to find out why you’ll have to read the book).  Wouldn’t it be great to live in a house made of balloons!  One day while looking out her window she sees a sad and neglected dog trying to escape from the house next door.  She rescues the dog, but the dog’s mean owner destroys her home and sends her balloon room floating away, until it lands in the dark forest of  Northwood.  The forest is home to the ferocious black lions and anyone who has entered Northwood has never returned.  Cecilia and the dog, Rocky find refuge in Northwood at Castle Storm, which is ruled by the horrible King Harry.  Cecilia is determined to find a way out of Northwood, but King Harry will do anything to stop the people leaving.

Brian Falkner has created an amazing world.  When I started reading I was transported into the world of Northwood and felt like I was right there with Cecilia on her adventure.  I could picture the dark tarblood trees of the forest and the dusty rooms of Castle Storm, smell the damp forest, and hear the low rumble of the black lions.  Cecilia is a really cool character and someone who you would want to be friends with.   I also really loved Donovan Bixley’s illustrations, especially the way he portrays King Harry, and the cool cover that really stands out.

Recommended for 9+     10 out of 10

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BrainJack

It would take a very special person to crack the computer systems of the White House. An expert. A genius. A devil. All of the above some would say. Someone like Sam Wilson, brilliant teenage computer hacker.

Thanks to Zac, I’ve really gotten into Brian Falkner’s books eg:The Project.

Sam and his best friend Fargas are about to bring the whole of united states of america to its knees, by accident.

They buy the newest piece of technology, the nuero headset which will change there lives, Sam’s especially.

He discovers a group of professional hackers whose base is supposedly in the White House.

He’s caught and sent to jail, or is that the job aplication of something much bigger.

Join Sam, Kiwi, Veinna and there work mates in a fight over the internet, people’s minds and the world.

I think this book should be for 11 year olds and older, and I would give it a rating of 10 out of 10.

The next war starts in cyberspace.

By Kezia,  Age: 11

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The most boring book in the world

The Project by Brian FalknerThis is not the most book in the world, it’s about the most boring book and when two boys find it and its worth 2 million dollars if found, all sorts of things could happen.

Luke, a new zealand kid who moved to america, and his spy crazy best friend tommy are about to be pushed to their limits when the find a book, the most boring book in the world in their opinion, and they discover a terrible secret hidden in it’s pages.

Will they be caught by the men who dispise their knowledge of the book and it’s secrets, or will they not be caught but the world would suffer for it.

Come into the world of  fantasy, drama and Leonardo Da Vinchi.

I think this book is sutible for 11 year olds and up and I would give it a rating of 10 out of 10

His life could change the world- His death could save it.

gsrh yllp xleow xszmtv gsv dzb ble gsrmp lu oruv, rg wrw gl nv.

If you think about it, you can work this out. (leave a comment if you know the answer.)

By Kezia, age 11

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