Today Snacks for Max is happy to interview Wendy Leighton-Porter, author of The Shadow of Atlantis! Pop over to our blog tour post for a longer summary of the book and bio of the author, but here are the basics:
Summary: When a set of twins discovers their parents missing, they enlist their neighbor and their pet cat to time travel with them all the way to the lost city of Atlantis to find answers.
Author bio: A former teacher, Wendy Leighton-Porter lives part of the time in England and part in South-West France. She has planned fifteen books in The Shadow of Atlantis series, with seven of them complete and number eight in the works.
SfM: Thanks so much for joining us, Wendy! Where did you draw your inspiration from for your characters?
Wendy: I don’t know that anyone inspired the characters of the children in the stories. I had decided there would be twins, Joe and Jemima, who would have a close bond which would be reinforced by the loss of their parents and that they would meet another boy, Charlie, who would complete the trio of young adventurers. But I didn’t really set out with a plan of what their personalities would be like – they just grew as I wrote and I think they are continuing to develop with each adventure, almost as if they’re taking on a life of their own which I don’t really have any control over.
However, I didn’t have to look very far for the inspiration for my favorite character and that is Max, the loveable talking Tonkinese cat. He is my real-life cat, Bertie. All the descriptions of Max are based on Bertie and I have used comments people have made about him, such as “Is that really a cat? It looks more like a mountain lion”! He is huge, weighing in at over 8 kilos – he’s not fat, but everything about him is enormous. A real gentle giant, he is adored by everyone who meets him.
SfM: Any character named Max is automatically our favorite! What is YOUR favorite part of the book?
Wendy: All the parts which feature Max, but especially when he meets Mia, the Temple cat, and together they steal the key from the High Priest, Zorotes.
SfM: That is definitely an exciting moment. What has been the best compliment you received as an author?
Wendy: From an 8 year old who wrote me a letter, saying, “This is one of the best books I have read in my life!”
SfM: I believe I wrote a few of those letters when I was younger. I’ll have to remember to urge Max to write some too! What is your favorite adult book of all-time?
Wendy: I think this is the point where I’m supposed to choose something heavyweight and meaningful but, if I’m honest, I really don’t have just one favorite book. However, for a combination of intelligent writing, clever plotting and atmosphere, you’d have to go some to beat The Ghost by Robert Harris, one of the best novels I’ve read in recent years.
SfM: No worries about not choosing grand literature; sometimes we just need an escape! Speaking of, if you were a superhero what would be your name, your super-power, and your kryptonite?
Wendy: I’d definitely be Catwoman! And like the characters in my books, I’d like to be able to understand and speak any language, anywhere in the world, and maybe read minds too. My kryptonite would be creepy-crawlies – I think even as a superhero I’d still need someone to get spiders out of the bath for me!
SfM: Yikes! Me too. Now, we must know: what is your favorite snack?
Wendy: Salted cashew nuts – I love them!
SfM: Those are Max’s Mamaw’s favorite, too! Thank you so much for joining us at Snacks for Max, Wendy. Good luck with your series. We look forward to reading all fifteen!