Post People: Author creates urban fantasy in Barking book

Mickey Mayhew says Barking history influenced Jack and the Lad

Mickey Mayhew says Barking history influenced Jack and the Lad - Credit: Archant

Fresh from ReadFest, Mickey Mayhew tells Sebastian Murphy-Bates how Barking shaped his books, with novel Jack and the Lad set to relaunch on November 2

“I’ve always been writing since I was a kid – it’s a calling. I think you’ve either got it or you haven’t.

“I’ve always liked urban fantasy, which is set in the real world but with a bit of make-believe.

“You can relate to it but it’s fantastic at the same time.

“I don’t think kids read much anymore – they spend most of their time on iPads and video games.

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“It’s a question of having a teacher to get you interested in it.

“I think kids who want to write should show their work to a teacher and see what they think, then they can see if they’ve got any aptitude.

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“The first book I wrote was I Love the Tudors – it’s a kids’ book that teaches Tudor history.

“I’ve always loved the Tudors since I heard about Henry VIII and his six wives – it was so weird being told that actually happened.

“The best of my Barking books is called Jack and the Lad and it’s about a family in Barking but there’s a bit of a ghost story and some history about the borough.

“Barking’s got a bad reputation but I’m not sure why.

“Nothing bad happened to me when I lived in Barking from 2001-2004 and everybody seemed to be east end salt of the earth types.

“Everyone says Barking’s rough but I only saw one fight, it’s got a bit of an unjust reputation.

“My favourite thing about it was St Margaret’s Church.”

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