Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival: David Solomons

Award winning author and screenwriter David Solomons is making an appearance at the Cardiff Children’s Lit Fest at City Hall tomorrow to talk all things alien and superhero.

David’s second novel in his ‘My Brother is a Superhero’ series explores the unfortunate situation of finding out that your gym teacher is actually an alien overlord set on destroying earth. It’s a wickedly funny novel, with references to classic superhero films, as well as making a few nods to Terminator, making it not only fun for kids, but also any adult who is a child at heart.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  I actually wasn’t into superheroes prior to writing my book, so I had to do a lot of research about them in forums and stuff. But I’d say flying- that would be my thing.

What would be your kryptonite? Deadlines. Definitely.

What would your super suit look like? As a child, I hated dressing up, and my four-year-old son is very reluctant to dress up as well, except for this scabby white bunny suit. So, in honour of that, I’d have a rabbit suit.

Wouldn’t that affect your aerodynamics, making it a little difficult to fly? You’re right. Maybe I’ll have my superpower as mega bouncing instead.

What was your least favourite part about gym class as a child? I have very thick glasses, and in school, for some reason, the gym teachers insisted that I remove my glasses meaning I couldn’t see anything. So, it made running around a rugby field a bit difficult.

Would you rather try and save the world from an alien overlord, or play dodgeball in gym class for four hours with no glasses? I was actually good at dodgeball! Maybe the lack of vision heightened my other senses or something! But I would love to go after alien invaders! Who wouldn’t?

Alien or Predator? Alien. Definitely. The trauma of the first film stuck with me.

Do you believe in aliens? I’d like to think there are somewhere, and don’t have evil plans.

What do you think they look like? In my book, they take on the appearance of whatever scares you the most. But I’d like to think they look like 1950s aliens, like in Close Encounters. Stay true to the Stephen Spielberg style.

If you were the first human to meet an alien, what would you tell it? I’d be such a bad first impression of the human race. The idea of any alien looking for contact and pointing to the guy who likes to stay indoors a lot, and going “that guy- we’re going to make contact with him” is awful. I’d probably be lost somewhere and end up asking him directions.

You’d ask the green dude with the big eyes who looks nothing like a human for directions to somewhere on a planet that isn’t his? Yes. Exactly.

Would you rather have ears for feet or feet for ears? (After much uhming and ahing and contemplating) Ears for feet. There might be some utility to it.

What was your favourite book as a child? When I was 12 I read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and that opened my eyes, and blew my mind.

What is your favourite book to read to your four-year-old son? I’ve started reading him Horrid Henrys, they’re so good. I also read him a book that’s out of print, Lemonade Geenie. Someone needs to republish it, it’s so funny.

As an award-winning screenwriter, would you ever make an alien movie? I would love to do an alien film, I’d love to turn My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord into a film. Alien movies tend to need a really evil reason for the aliens to invade, and I feel like I came up with a really good invasion motive.