I’ve been given the task of interviewing Dave Lowe, author of My Hamster Is A Genius. To be honest, I would have preferred a writer who was my intellectual equal, but presumably all the clever writers were busy
Stinky: Dave, I believe you had a pet hamster when you were young. Could you tell us about him?
Dave: Well, he was just a regular hamster. Nothing like you. He wasn’t grumpy or sarcastic. In fact, he didn’t talk at all. His name was ‘Flavour’.
Stinky: That’s a rather silly name.
Dave: So says a hamster called ‘Jasper Stinkybottom’!
Stinky: As you well know, it was actually my owner Ben who gave me the name. Which brings me to my next question: Like you, Ben isn’t so bright. When you were nine, were you similar to Ben?
Dave: Probably. I was mostly good, but I could be a bit naughty sometimes. I didn’t have a sister, though. I had two brothers, and neither of them did tap-dancing.
Stinky: At recent book festivals in Cheltenham and Bath, you met Simon Bartram and Emma Dodd, who are not only talented writers, but also amazing illustrators. I’ve seen your pictures, on the other hand. They look like they were drawn by a three year-old. A blindfolded three year-old. Are you jealous?
Dave: A bit, but both of those illustrators have been practising their drawing for years and years. I was never so interested in art. Besides, I love Mark Chambers’ pictures for My Hamster Is A Genius – I’ve just seen his pictures for the second book, My Hamster Is An Astronaut, and they are fabulous, too. My favourite picture so far, though, is that one in Genius of you wearing a tutu. It makes me smile every time.
Dave: Yes, pretty much. I remember also wanting to be a footballer or an astronaut but a) I’m no Wayne Rooney and b) I’m scared of heights. I’ve always loved reading, and I’ve been writing things since I was 7 or 8.
Stinky: I am also an avid reader – I love Tolstoy and Dickens and lots of other big books that you almost certainly wouldn’t understand. What kind of books do you like, and what books did you like when you were younger?
Dave: I love Charles Dickens, actually. He’s not difficult to read at all. My favourite book is probably The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, which I first read when I was 16. When I was young, like most kids I absolutely loved Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was my favourite, but I think I read all of his books). I also loved the football books of Michael Hardcastle and the ‘Mystery’ books of Enid Blyton.
Stinky: Dave Lowe – thank you, and good luck with your writing career. You’ll need it.
Dave: Thanks. I think.
If you want to know more about Dave, he has also written a mildly amusing post on Templar's blog here