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David Calcutt - Author

About the Author

David Calcutt was born in Wednesbury, West Midlands, in 1950, and now lives in Walsall. He taught in schools for ten years, then was a Community Arts Director for three years. He is now a freelance playwright and storyteller. The main influences on his work are myth and folk-tale. "Those ancient myths have provided us with some of our greatest works of literature, art, music and theatre...."

 

Q & A on Shadow Bringer with David Calcutt

1.    What inspired you to write Shadow Bringer?

A few years ago I saw on a very windy day I saw something black flapping in the sky.  It didn’t look like a bird and for a moment or two I couldn’t work out what it was.  Then I realised it was a plastic bin-liner.  It gave me an idea for a story that eventually became “Shadow Bringer”.

2.    Describe it in two lines?

It’s a supernatural, psychological thriller, in which a boy is haunted by a shadow creature.

3.    How long did it take you to write?

The first draft took around four months.

4.    What do you think people will say about this book?

They’ll probably say it’s nothing like his first book.  I hope they’ll say they find it tense and gripping, and it made them afraid to switch the light off.  Especially if they have an attic.

5.    Are you working on something else at the moment?

A couple of things.  There’s the beginning of a fantasy adventure story, and also a book I’m co-writing with another OUP author, Marie-Louise Jensen.  It came about from a conversation we had when we met at a award ceremony in Dublin, and it’s really taken off.  We’re both very excited about it. .

6.    What is your favourite food?

I don’t really have a favourite food.  I like lots of different kinds of food.  I like to eat.

7.    What makes you laugh out loud?

Anything absurd,  surreal, or rude.

8.    What is your one luxury item you would take with you on to a Desert Island?

Probably my guitar.

9.    What is your most treasured memory?

I have lots, and I keep on acquiring them.  Memories should grow with you and not remain in the past.

10.    What is your weakness?

Gazing into the distance when I should be working

11.    What is the worst/most unusual job you have ever done?

Being a street-entertainer was probably the worst.  It was cold and it rained.  I went home.

12.    What is your most embarrassing moment?


There are quite a few  – all too embarrassing to talk about.

13.    What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

I had a dream in which I was being chased by a tiger.  The tiger caught me and said if I hadn’t run away it wouldn’t have chased me.

14.    What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone?

If you see a tiger on the street, run.

15.    Last album brought? First album ever brought? 

The first that I bought myself was, I think, “The Times They Are A-Changin’” by Bob Dylan.  The most recent is “Elegy of the Uprooting” by the Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou.  The Greeks call her the tenth muse.  She is.

16.    What are you reading at the moment?

“Njal’s Saga” by an anonymous and brilliant Icelandic writer, and “Light in August” by William Faulkner.   Also Ted Hughes’ poetry - but then I’m always reading this.

17.    What would be on the soundtrack of your film – and who would play you?


The music from “The Third Man”.  Orson Welles.  In fact I’d rather be in that film.

18.    Favourite holiday destination?

The Greek island of Lesvos

19.    Which authors have most inspired you?

Shakespeare, Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas, William Golding, Nikos Kazantzakis, George Seferis, Herman Melville, William Faulkner, Flannery O’ Connor, Jorge Luis Borges, John Steinbeck, James Joyce.

20.    What is your favourite children’s book?


“Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson

21.    Most treasured possession?

My bike, and whatever notebook I happen to be writing in.

22.    Where are you happiest?

I’m pretty happy in most places. 

23.    Favourite biscuit?


Chocolate digestives.

24.    Pet hates?


Too many to list.  Stupidity’s probably at the top.

25.    If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?


I’d be less quick to judge, and work harder

Featured books by David Calcutt

Other books by David Calcutt

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Myths and Legends: Level 14: Why The Sea Is Salty

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Myths and Legends: Level 14: Why The Sea Is Salty

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/01/2014

Why the Sea is Salty tells three water-themed myths. They all explain something about the sea - why it is salty, why droughts and floods happen, how sea creatures came to be. Find out how wishes, dragons, giant ravens and magical sea creatures all play their part. Captivating versions of some of the best myths and legends from around the world. TreeTops Myths and Legends are fascinating and action-packed stories that will motivate and inspire readers. These are some of the oldest and most enduring stories in the world, retold by leading contemporary children's authors to bring out all of the action, drama, humour and depth of the original stories in a way that makes them as exciting and meaningful today as ever. The stories are beautifully illustrated in a range of styles to bring each tale to life. Books contain inside cover notes to support children in their reading. Help with children's reading development also available at www.oxfordowl.co.uk. The books are finely levelled, making it easy to match every child to the right book.

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Myths and Legends: Level 16: The Journey Of Odysseus

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Myths and Legends: Level 16: The Journey Of Odysseus

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/01/2014

The hero Odysseus will need all of his skill and courage to get home to Ithaca in The Journey of Odysseus. All kinds of monsters and magical creatures are lurking in the seas and islands on his way, including the one-eyed Cyclops, the Sirens and the enchantress Circe. Will he ever manage to get home? Captivating versions of some of the best myths and legends from around the world. TreeTops Myths and Legends are fascinating and action-packed stories that will motivate and inspire readers. These are some of the oldest and most enduring stories in the world, retold by leading contemporary children's authors to bring out all of the action, drama, humour and depth of the original stories in a way that makes them as exciting and meaningful today as ever. The stories are beautifully illustrated in a range of styles to bring each tale to life. Books contain inside cover notes to support children in their reading. Help with children's reading development also available at www.oxfordowl.co.uk. The books are finely levelled, making it easy to match every child to the right book.

Oxford Playscripts: Homer's Odyssey

Oxford Playscripts: Homer's Odyssey

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/12/2012

Oxford Playscripts: Beowulf

Oxford Playscripts: Beowulf

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/12/2012

Oxford Playscripts: The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty

Oxford Playscripts: The Terrible Fate of Humpty Dumpty

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/12/2012

Oxford Playscripts: Treasure Island

Oxford Playscripts: Treasure Island

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/12/2012

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2012

The champion of the destitute and downtrodden rides again. Meet young Robin Hood before he becomes the hero of Sherwood Forest, and follow along with his band of merry men as his adventures become the stuff of legend. This lavishly illustrated picture book makes a wonderful gift title to complement Arthur of Albion and The Arabian Nights, and features nine tales including: Robin Becomes an Outlaw, Robin Meets Little John, Robin and the Widow, and Robin's Last Battle

The Map of Marvels

The Map of Marvels

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/2010

When Connor starts creating a map of an imaginary world for his school project he has no idea where it will lead. As he draws the outlines of the islands and the mountains, the map begins to take shape. And then there's the tower-ominous and threatening - but so necessary that without it the map would not be complete. Perhaps without the tower, the map might not even exist. But the map does exist, and so does the tower. As Connor enters the world he's created he meets others there who all have their own tale to tell. Together they travel between many worlds, on many adventures and through many stories. On their journey they encounter places and creatures beyond Connor's imagination. But he has imagined them, hasn't he? Surely this world can't be real, because if it is, his life at home must just be another story ...

Crowboy

Crowboy

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/02/2008

The city will fall, and fall soon. And when it happens - well, I've seen it before, and I don't want to see it again. I shouldn't think Joey does either. So I just hope that whatever he's brought us here for, we can be done with it and away again before the soldiers get in. They don't leave anything standing or anybody living. Mal doesn't know why they're heading into the city. But Joey has decided they must. And Joey, she knows, has a very special power...Inside the city, she's not the only one interested in Joey. Two rival gangs both see the arrival of this strange visionary boy - the Crowboy - as a chance to gain supremacy. But is Joey really so special? As the war tightens its grip on the city, the gangs are forced into a final conflict. It is time for the true purpose of the Crowboy to be revealed...

Oxford Playscripts: Salem

Oxford Playscripts: Salem

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/06/2007

An engaging classroom playscript. In 1692, 19 people were executed for witchcraft and the whole village was engulfed in fear. But what actually happened in Salem? This play re-tells the Witch Trials by combining historical evidence with a healthy dose of imagination, and exploring the build-up of hysteria in the village. It covers important issues of prejudice and peer pressure, gang mentality, suspicion and fear. A more accessible version of events, Salem is ideal for preparation work for The Crucible. It also acts as an interesting comparison text to Miller's play, placing emphasis on different events and characters. New, innovative activities specifically tailored to support the KS3 Framework for Teaching English and help students to fulfil the Framework objectives. Activities include work on Speaking and Listening, close text analysis, and the structure of playscripts, and act as a springboard for personal writing.

Fool's Gold

Fool's Gold

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2007

Prospero, a struggling alchemist who has dedicated his life to the seemingly fruitless pursuit of the secret of the Philosopher's Stone, falls prey to a couple of swindlers - ignoring the advice of caring daughter Miranda and apprentice Will. Now a cunning plan has to be devised to wreck revenge and reclaim their lost wealth...Unexpected and entertaining results ensue.

Oxford Playscripts: Troy

Oxford Playscripts: Troy

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/01/2007

An engaging classroom playscript. The Greek champion Achilles is returning to the Trojan War. Intent on revenge for the killing of his friend Patroclus, he is determined to fight Hector to the death. The outcome of the war rests on this one fight and Troy 24, Olympus Broadcasting's most popular news channel, plans to get the world exclusive. New, innovative activities specifically tailored to support the KS3 Framework for Teaching English and help students to fulfil the Framework objectives. Activities include work on Speaking and Listening, close text analysis, and the structure of playscripts, and act as a springboard for personal writing.

Oxford Playscripts: Lady Macbeth

Oxford Playscripts: Lady Macbeth

Author: David Calcutt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/03/2005

An engaging classroom playscript. Daughter of a Pictish king, Gruach is forced to marry her father's enemy by the new ruler, King Malcolm. Desperate, she turns to the Wyrd Sisters for advice. Meanwhile, Macbeth and Duncan join forces against the King, killing him and all his followers. Now a Widow, Gruach is free to become Lady Macbeth. New, innovative activities specifically tailored to support the KS3 Framework for Teaching English and help students to fulfil the Framework objectives. Activities include work on Speaking and Listening, close text analysis, and the structure of playscripts, and act as a springboard for personal writing.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.davidcalcutt.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/

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