Children’s Book Blog: Ask the Author – Bear Grylls
My interviewee for this week is TV survival expert turned children’s author, Bear Grylls. His latest book, Mission Survival: Claws of the Crocodile, sees teenage hero Beck Granger embark on a peril-packed Australian adventure. I spoke to Bear about reading by torchlight, battling Arctic hurricanes and ‘Treasure Island’.
What made you decide to write children’s books?
It’s all about encouraging young people who enjoy my TV shows to be able to take those adventures really to heart – and reading is always a more personal and intimate an experience than TV. I remember reading great adventure books as a kid by torchlight at night and then dreaming about being in the adventures myself afterwards. It is a powerful way of inspiring kids and also teaching them about life values such as friendships and risk as well as empowering them with knowledge that one day could save their lives.
How much does your books’ hero, Beck Granger, have in common with you? Besides having the same initials and being really good at exploring things…
He was trained by his dad as a young boy and he lost his dad as well when he was young. He loves adventure yet is unsure of his abilities apart from when he is in the wild. He values his close friends above everything.
Are any of the dangers he encounters based on your own experiences?
Yes, almost all of the places and scenarios I have been through – except the being kidnapped by diamond smugglers!
What was your favourite book growing up?
Treasure Island – the way they were so practical and resourceful and such a tight knit family.
What’s the biggest survival challenge you’ve ever faced?
Probably being caught in the Arctic in a hurricane – it was a battle! Or getting lost as a kid in the mountains with my dad.
What as yet unconquered challenge is at the top of your ‘to-do’ list?
It’s a long list but I am doing my best to work my way through it! Next challenge is taking the ultimate global icon on a big world tour of adventure – details still undisclosed…
What’s your top tip for any aspiring young survival experts out there?
Don’t listen to the dream stealers who say you can’t do it. Go for it, live boldly and follow those dreams. We only get one shot at life.
Are you planning to release any more books in the Mission Survival Series?
Yes – many more to follow! Mission Survival: Rage of the Rhino is out in spring next year.
Have your children read your books?
Yes, they have and they tell me they could have dealt with the situations much better!
Rebecca Davies is a journalist and author currently working on a YA fantasy novel set in Hackney. Follow Rebecca on Twitter @TheStoryMonsterTagged in: bear grylls
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