Frank Cottrell-Boyce on new kids' adventure book Noah’s Gold

Virgin Radio

26 May 2021, 09:20

Merseyside's magical screenwriter and novelist Frank Cottrell-Boyce joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about his new children's book and how it came to life.

He told Chris: “It's about a school geography that goes horribly wrong when they're aiming to go to a big warehouse called the Orinoco but the GPS instead tries to take them to the Orinoco River, so they keep going West until they all end up marooned on a small island off the coast of Ireland and so you've got a group of kids on an island with no WiFi trying to tend for themselves.

“I think we've been brought up to think that if that happens then the kids will split themselves into tribes, will be unable to light a fire and will end up eating each other because that's what happens in Lord of the Flies but that's not what happens.

"They turn out to be really good, they have adventures, things go terribly wrong, there are secret tunnels and there’s gold…

“We live through stories and I think at the beginning of this year there was a story that because of the pandemic everyone was crashing into supermarkets and clubbing each other to death for toilet rolls and looked what happened; we all shopped for our neighbours and checked up on each other and I think that's a big truth and it's actually harder to live with in a lot of ways."  

About protagonist Noah, he explained: “Noah stowed away on his big sister’s school trip. He’s younger and smaller than the others. I won't go into too much detail about why he wants to be there, but he stowed away in the back of the bus and nobody noticed.

"There’s a good moment when the teacher does a head count and realises there's an extra head."

On being inspired by the youngsters, he said: "I did some free Instagram creative writing lessons for kids and it wasn't really about trying to get them to do better as much as trying to get them to use their creativity to be happy.

"One of the tasks that I set was to imagine yourself somewhere you'd like to be, because you can't go anywhere and one of the kids said, are you doing that? And I was like, oh my god, I'm not, am I? 

“That's when I thought, I’ll set this on an island and I drew the map and it suddenly came to life.”