Jason Beresford - Author Picture

Jason Beresford - Author

Jason Beresford is a primary school teacher because he believes in the power of education, not because it gives him a trapped audience of 8 year olds who have to laugh at his jokes or miss playtime. Before teaching, Jason spent 20 years trying to put the tee-hee into TV. As a news reporter he joined a Russian circus, abseiled off Durham Cathedral and interviewed a man who trained worms how to dance. As a TV producer, he reunited the last surviving Oompah Loompas, crossed Britain on a lawn mower with John Sergeant and filmed the party of the year at David Beckham’s house (but spent the whole night stuck in the kitchen).

Jason once toured Japan in a comedy show and has directed both Emmerdale and Coronation Street. He speaks Japanese and has two daughters. Although they both think he’s quite funny at the moment he isn’t sure how long this will last.

Q&A with Jason Beresford

About five years ago. But I didn’t wake up one morning and decide, “Right, I’ll be a writer!” I had an idea for a little scene where a boy meets an elf and gets the chance to be an animal superhero but ends up with the powers of a slug. The idea made me laugh and in my head I played out the conversation the boy might have with the elf. (“I can’t go home like this, my Mum will kill me!”) I wasn’t sure what to do with my idea but I was between jobs in TV at the time so I decided to try to write it up. The scene became a chapter. And then the chapter became a book. And then …

What were your favourite books as a child?
I loved Roald Dahl. I remember one of my primary school teachers reading Fantastic Mr Fox to our class when I was about 7 and that got me hooked. My favourite though was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also loved Stig of the Dump, The Hobbit and – when I got a bit older – a book called A Kestrel for a Knave (or Kes) by Barry Hines.

Who are your current favourite authors and illustrators?
My favourite illustrator has to be Vicky Barker (because she illustrated my book!) but I also love Quentin Blake. This is partly because he did all my favourite Roald Dahl books so brilliantly, but also because I met him once and he was lovely to me. When I was a TV reporter I had to interview Mr Blake and he kindly drew my picture with a felt tip pen on the back of a poster. I still have it framed on my wall.

What is your favourite thing about being a writer?
Two things actually (if I am allowed to have two!) The first is the magic that happens when the characters you have invented do things that you don’t expect. They really do take on a life of their own and it is very weird and wonderful when it happens. My other favourite thing is reading my stories out loud to children and hearing them laugh.

Where and when do you do your writing?
Usually in the school holidays at the moment. Teaching full time means I struggle to squeeze my writing in to my working day. And at the weekend my fouryear old daughter keeps me very busy.

Do you have a favourite out of your gang of four schoolkids-turned-superheroes – The Chimp, Nightingale, KangaRuby and Slug Boy?
Too tricky to pick a favourite (and I am not sure it would be fair) although I have a soft spot for Morris because he was the first one I came up with. I like different bits in each of them: I like Gary’s cool, I like Ruby’s zest for life, I like Morris’s wit and I like Bel’s elegance and beauty. If I could choose to be one of them, I would be The Chimp I think. Like most boys, I like the idea of being able to climb up trees and drainpipes.

Which of your super-scary (and super-hairy) villains – The Panteater and Jumper Jack Flash – would you rather take on and why?
I would rather take on Jumper Jack Flash. I know he is nastier than the Panteater, more evil and more devious and I know it would be awful to get karate chopped then tied up in my own jumper. But I would prefer all of that ten times over to having my undies swallowed by The Panteater .

What tips do you have for young writers?
If you have an idea, get it down somewhere, somehow. Whether it is on paper or on a computer or on the back of your hand! You never know where it might lead. And the thing with writing is that the more you do it, the better you become. Honest.

If you could be any character from a book, who would you be?
Spider Man I think. I know he isn’t in a book technically – he is in a comic. But when I was a boy I really liked superhero comics and Spidey was my favourite. He had such great superpowers and he was funny too. And clever. And he even had a pretty girlfriend.

Featured Books, with extracts, by Jason Beresford

Reader ReviewedFrozen Fish Fingers
Jason Beresford - illustrated by Vicky Barker
For mad-cap adventure that really is side-splittingly funny then go no further than this, the second in the Fish Fingers series featuring four superheroes. But, when they win a holiday to a far off place can their special talents save...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 28/08/2014
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Reader ReviewedThe Fabulous Four Fish Fingers
Jason Beresford - illustrated by Vicky Barker
This is undoubtedly the perfect reading material for both boys and girls aged 7+ - plenty of humour, kids with superpowers (and we all know boys in particular wish they had superpowers) but most of all it has heart. The...
Lovereading Price: £4.79 - Saving £1.20 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/08/2013
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