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Guy Bass - Author

About the Author

Guy Bass grew up dreaming of being a superhero – he even had a Spider-Man costume. The costume doesn't fit anymore, so Guy now contents himself with writing and drawing the occasional picture. He writes the Gormy Ruckles series for Scholastic UK, as well as the popular Dinkin Dings series for Stripes. In 2010, Dinkin Dings and the Frightening Things won a CBBC Blue Peter Book Award in the "Most Fun Story with Pictures" category. Guy lives in London with his wife.

A Q&A with the Author

Where did the idea for the Stitch Head series come from?  I wanted to write a gothic monster / mad professor story. The initial idea was about two leftover body parts from the professor’s experiments - an arm and leg - which were alive, and understandably resented their lot! As it turns out, living limbs are considered a bit much for children’s fiction, and I was rightly asked to think again. Then I started to wonder how this mad professor got started. Maybe his first creation wasn’t all that monstrous or scary or impressive; maybe it had been forgotten, like an old toy, and longed to be remembered. I did a sketch of a little creature with stitches all over his face and things started to fall into place. 

Apart from Stitch Head, who have been your favourite characters in the series?  Arabella is fun to write. She became a major character almost by accident. She’s everything Stitch Head isn’t – rash, brash, and recklessly bold – and she approaches every problem by kicking it in the nose. The Creature is great when I want to give Stitch Head something to worry about. It always turns up at the right moment and does the wrong thing – the perfect storm of good intentions and terrible execution. 

When you started the series did you know how many you would be writing?  It was initially a one-book contract so I did sort of think that was that. I crammed so much into that first story, but ended up having to trim a lot. What I took out became the basis of the second book, and by the time I’d written that I had book three plotted, and so on.

Stitch Head has recently been voted by kids as one of the best Children’s books, how did this make you feel?  Gobsmacked, incredulous and humbled, in that order. Everybody involved in Stitch Head put in heaps of work into it, so I’m so chuffed people like it. That vote meant a lot, especially as there was no shortlist. Bonkers. Plus, it was good to know all those bribes paid off.

Sadly this is the last book in the Stitch Head series, but do you have any other books coming?  I don’t know how to spell a drum-roll, but I’m making the sound... my new series is called SPYnosaur. I’m really excited about it. It’s your classic secret-agent-gets-his-brainwaves-put-into-the-body-of-a-dinosaur-and-teams-up-with-his-daughter-to-battle-international-criminal-masterminds. With added monkeys.

Guy Bass on his recent novel for reluctant and struggling reads Noah Scape:
 

1. Can you describe Noah Scape Can't Stop Repeating Himself in 5 words?

When Noah doubles there's trouble. 
When Noah doubles there's trouble. 
When Noah doubles there's trouble. 
When Noah doubles there's trouble. 
When Noah doubles there's trouble.

2. What was the inspiration for writing the book?

The name was the starting point. I wanted to write a "be careful what you wish for" story, with Noah deliberately deciding to start doubling but it soon spirals out of control to become a situation he can't escape. There is something appealing about the idea of there being one more of you, or four of you, or eight, or a hundred ... but when everyone's the same, it's a sadder world. At the beginning of the story, Noah's so set in his ways that he rejects other people's ideas and opinions but the more he duplicates, the more he realises that difference makes life interesting. Difference and dinosaurs.

3. You could say that Noah is a bit of a difficult student... What were you like at school? Were you as demanding as Noah?

I wish I had been - demanding, not difficult. I was really quiet at school. So quiet that I'm pretty sure I could have turned invisible and I pretty sure no one would have noticed. Which is just one of the two hundred super powers I wished I'd had as a child. I spent every school assembly daydreaming about floating into the air and out of the window. My memory's hazy but i'm almost convinced it never actually happened.

4. We love Steve's artwork and he's said he just might have broken the record for drawing the same character again and again and again! What version of Noah is your favourite?

It's an impressive record! My favourite's one of the (many) Noahs on page 51. He's far off in the background, holding a balloon and looking strangely sinister. Thanks to horror films it's now impossible to hold a balloon and not look evil.

5. Noah loves nothing more than talking about dinosaurs and eating spaghetti with tomato sauce. What two things do you wish everyone loved as much as you do?

Comic books and cheese fondue.

6. Finally, we'd love to see the spot where all your characters come to life. Can you show us a picture of where you write?

Guy Bass in his office

I should point out that my main problem with writing books is the isolation. As you can see, I found a solution - you're never alone with a thousand lifeless painted eyes staring down at you. Oddly, the toys on my shelves seem to have doubled recently. Maybe that's where the real inspiration for Noah Scape came from.

Photo credit Elizabeth Gibson

Featured books by Guy Bass

Other books by Guy Bass

Skeleton Keys: The Wild Imaginings of Stanley Strange

Skeleton Keys: The Wild Imaginings of Stanley Strange

Author: Guy Bass Illustrator: Pete Williamson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2021

The fifth tall-but-true tale in the darkly comic series SKELETON KEYS from the award-winning duo behind STITCH HEAD. Greetings! My name is Skeleton Keys and these fantabulant fingers of mine can open doors to hidden worlds... Join me for the puzzling tale of Lucky - an unimaginary who seems to have mislaid the very human that imagined him... When Skeleton Keys discovers newly unimagined Lucky all alone, he's determined to reunite the little creature with the boy who imagined him. But Stanley is nowhere to be found... The search leads them to the Kingdom - a hidden world for unimaginaries. As they scour the streets for any sign of Stanley, the Kingdom comes under attack from a rampaging gorilla. Lucky is convinced it's the work of Stanley's wild imaginings. But what is Stanley up to and can Skeleton Keys track him down before the entire place is reduced to rubble...? Perfect for fans of David Walliams, AMELIA FANG and THE NOTHING TO SEE HERE HOTEL. Praise for THE HAUNTING OF LUNA MOON: Guy Bass's smart tale offers some excellent twists, with Edward Gorey-style illustrations by Pete Williamson enhancing the comedy-Gothic atmosphere. - Financial Times

Skeleton Keys: The Night of the Nobody

Skeleton Keys: The Night of the Nobody

Author: Guy Bass Illustrator: Pete Williamson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/05/2021

The fourth tall-but-true tale in the darkly comic series SKELETON KEYS from the award-winning duo behind STITCH HEAD. Greetings! My name is Skeleton Keys and these fantabulant fingers of mine can open doors to hidden worlds... Join me for the terrifying tale of the Nobody - a nightmarish unimaginary with a dark mission... On the hunt for an unimaginary, Skeleton Keys meets young Flynn Twist, a boy with a wild imagination who tells of his encounter with a terrifying shadow calling itself the Nobody. Skeleton Keys suspects it could be a shapeless unimaginary searching for a physical form. As night falls the Nobody roams the village of Matching Trousers turning everyone it meets into zombie-like nobodies. No one is safe - not even Skeleton Keys. Soon only Flynn is left. Can he become the brave hero of his imagination and free everybody from the Nobody? Perfect for fans of David Walliams, AMELIA FANG and THE NOTHING TO SEE HERE HOTEL. Praise for SKELETON KEYS: Guy has mixed cleverly created characters with his trademark humour and wit to give us his best book yet. This is one spooky series I'm going to devour! - Authorfy

Buck 'n' Bronco Hit the Road

Buck 'n' Bronco Hit the Road

Author: Guy Bass Illustrator: Steve May Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2021

Buck 'n' Bronco are mascots at the Happy Ranch theme park. It's their mission to Bring the Happy (TM) to your day! But when Happy Ranch is demolished to make way for a futuristic new park, Buck 'n' Bronco find themselves without a home and without a job. They head out on the road, determined to prove they've still got what it takes. Can Buck 'n' Bronco Bring the Happy (TM) out in the real world, or are they doomed to be yesterday's mascots?

Skeleton Keys: The Legend of Gap-tooth Jack

Skeleton Keys: The Legend of Gap-tooth Jack

Author: Guy Bass Illustrator: Pete Williamson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2020

The third tall-but-true tale in the darkly comic new series SKELETON KEYS from the award-winning duo behind STITCH HEAD. Greetings! My name is Skeleton Keys and these fantabulant fingers of mine can open doors to hidden worlds... Join me for the curious tale of Gap-tooth Jack - thief, adventurer and champion of imagining! When Skeleton Keys banishes Wordy Gerdy from the present using his Key to Time, he thinks he's seen the last of the troublesome unimaginary. But Gerdy uses her ghostly pen to wreak her revenge, and before Skeleton Keys knows it she's written his precious keys out of existence. Skeleton Keys and his partner Daisy must follow Gerdy into the past to retrieve her pen and make her restore his keys. But Skeleton Keys has unknowingly sent Gerdy back to his own past and her pen is now in the hands of notorious thief Gap-tooth Jack. As they set off to find Jack, Skeleton Keys can't help noticing that everything looks strangely familiar. Then he comes face to face with the thief - could it be that the two have met before? Perfect for fans of David Walliams, AMELIA FANG and THE NOTHING TO SEE HERE HOTEL. Praise for THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND: Guy has mixed cleverly created characters with his trademark humour and wit to give us his best book yet. This is one spooky series I'm going to devour! - Authorfy

Skeleton Keys: The Haunting of Luna Moon

Skeleton Keys: The Haunting of Luna Moon

Author: Guy Bass Illustrator: Pete Williamson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2020

The second tall-but-true tale in the darkly comic new series SKELETON KEYS from the award-winning duo behind STITCH HEAD... Greetings! My name is Skeleton Keys and these fantabulant fingers of mine can open doors to hidden worlds... Join me for the strange tale of Luna Moon, whose family is disappearing before her very eyes... Luna is the only one to mourn the death of her grandfather Old Man Moon - the rest of her family couldn't be happier to see the back of the bad-tempered old miser. But as they celebrate his demise with a giddy jig, Aunt Summer vanishes ... only to reappear as a painting. While Luna is convinced her grandfather has kept his word to haunt them from beyond the grave, Skeleton Keys is certain that this is the work of an unimaginary. Can he get to the bottom of the mystery before the whole of Luna's family disappears? Read Skeleton Keys' first unbelievably true tale: THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND! Perfect for fans of David Walliams, AMELIA FANG and THE NOTHING TO SEE HERE HOTEL. Praise for SKELETON KEYS: Guy has mixed cleverly-created characters with his trademark humour and wit to give us his best book yet. This is one spooky series I'm going to devour! Authorfy

Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds

Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds

Author: Guy Bass Illustrator: Steve May Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/02/2020

Ever-punctual Anna Gain is never late, and she's certainly never late for the school bus. Every day she catches it in perfect time. But not today. After a series of absurd events cause Anna to miss the bus, she's transported one minute back in time - only to be stuck re-living the same sixty seconds again ... and again ... and again ... Is fate trying to teach Anna a lesson? And will she ever escape? A laugh-out-loud and punny take on 'Groundhog Day' from a top-notch author-illustrator pairing, particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+

Skeleton Keys: The Unimaginary Friend

Skeleton Keys: The Unimaginary Friend

Author: Guy Bass Illustrator: Pete Williamson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

Greetings! My name is Skeleton Keys and these fantabulant fingers of mine can open doors to hidden worlds... Join me for the curious tale of Ben Bunsen, whose only friend is a figment of his imagination ... until now. Ben can't believe it when his imaginary friend the Gorblimey becomes unimaginary. The Gorblimey is loyal and kind ... and real! But Skeleton Keys is far from convinced by the Gorblimey's friendly ways. He's got the twitch, which is (almost) never wrong, and it's telling him the Gorblimey is dangerous and needs banishing to the endless void of Oblivion. As Ben battles to save his new friend, the Gorblimey is soon the least of Skeleton Keys' worries. It seems that there's more than one unimaginary in town. And this one is out for revenge... The first book in the darkly comic new SKELETON KEYS series from the award-winning duo behind STITCH HEAD. Perfect for fans of David Walliams, AMELIA FANG and THE NOTHING TO SEE HERE HOTEL. Praise for THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND: Guy has mixed cleverly-created characters with his trademark humour and wit to give us his best book yet. This is one spooky series I'm going to devour! - Authorfy Follow Skeleton Keys on his next adventure in THE HAUNTING OF LUNA MOON, out now!

Author Info

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https://www.guybass.com

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