Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Nick Long!

What a giant privilege to welcome TV producer and author, Nick Long to our blog to talk about his hilarious new book. It’s the first in a ‘laugh-out-loud per minute’ series, titled, The Forbidden Journal of Rufus Rumble; Worst Space Crew Ever! Written in the ever-so-popular diary format with Robin Tatlow-Lord‘s ebulliently brilliant sketches, diagrams and the coolest typographical variety, this is one MEGA-ADVENTURE junior fiction readers are sure to get lost in! With space toilets, a burpy Great Uncle and all-you-can-eat pizza (plus a lot more of the wacky and absurd!), this intergalactic journey journal is just the secret mission you’ve been hanging out for.

We’d love to hear more about Rufus Rumble’s ridiculous adventures! Thanks, Nick! 🙂

About the Author

In his job as a TV producer, Nick Long has been up close and personal with deadly snakes, ruthless crime lords, unstable Alaskan glaciers and tight deadlines. Can you guess which of these was the scariest?

When he’s not avoiding deadlines, Nick lives with his wife and two boys on Sydney’s Northern Beaches,
where he enjoys inventing excuses for not doing handyman stuff.

The Forbidden Journal of Rufus Rumble is his first children’s book.

Please find Nick Long at his website: BY NICK LONG and on Instagram.

About the Illustrator

Robin Tatlow-Lord has never been to outer space, but knows that it has a smell. Her career highlights include being shortlisted for the CBCA New Illustrator award, and drawing a parachuting rhinoceros escaping a volcanic eruption – live on TV.

The Forbidden Journal of Rufus Rumble is Robin’s fourth kids’ book.
She lives in Adelaide and spends her ‘free’ time hitting her friends (aka playing roller derby) and chasing an adorable but highly mischievous pixie (aka her toddler).

Please find Robin Tatlow-Lord at her website: Robin Tatlow-Lord (robintatlowlord.com) and on Instagram and Facebook.

The Forbidden Journal of Rufus Rumble can be purchased from the Affirm Press website.

WHO wrote, illustrated and published this book?

Written by Nick Long, illustrated by Robin Tatlow-Lord, published by Affirm Press.

WHAT is it about?

For 11 year old Rufus Rumble, life is totally terrible. His space scientist mum disappeared mysteriously, so he has to live with his horrible burpy Great Uncle Grumbo. His only friend is a malfunctioning robot that never ever gets things right. So when Rufus gets hold of a ticket into space, he thinks things are looking up. What he doesn’t know is he’s about to join the Worst Space Crew Ever. This crew of misfits, including a yeti who hates hugs and a merman with a puddle problem absolutely DO NOT get along. But if Rufus can unite them – and avoid being blown into a billion bits – he might just solve the mystery of what happened to his mum.

What is your favourite part of this book?

Spoiler alert, but it’s hard to go past the moment that Rufus’s low budget space craft, towing an intergalactic public toilet, crashes into a planet that doesn’t have waffles.

WHEN did you begin writing this book?

The origins of this idea were in a picture book concept I came up with a few years ago, but I expanded it into a junior fiction story during the Covid lockdowns of 2021.

When is its release / launch date?

July 2024.

WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?

Space travel is going to become more accessible in our lifetimes, and I wondered where it might lead a hundred years from now. By that stage I imagined there might be low- budget space tour companies, like cheap cruiseliners, roaming outer space. That was the seed of the idea, then I scraped every inch of my imagination for a crew of ridiculous characters who might create utter space mayhem.

WHY is this book meaningful to you?

This is my first published book, so it’s very meaningful for that reason. But also, during the writing phase I lived and breathed it with my kids who are exactly in the age bracket its aimed at. I tested jokes on them and talked through the plot, which was so helpful. One day soon they’ll be grown up and probably won’t think I’m funny anymore. But we’ll always have memories of the laughs we shared while I was writing this book.

Why would its message resonate with readers?

Life is serious these days and I think this book will resonate because it’s a break from all of that. It’s light and funny and although there is a villain who wants to abolish technology and send everyone back to the dark ages, it’s a long way from what anyone would call realistic. There are thought-provoking concepts in there if you look for them but on the whole it’s pure entertainment.

HOW do you feel about the illustrations / cover design? How do they convey the feeling or mood you envisioned?

Robin brought to life the ridiculousness of this story in such a vivid and hilarious way. Every time I was sent her illustrations I immediately felt they added so, so much to the story and I think the readers will agree. As for the cover, the excellent team at Affirm Press worked hard to achieve the perfect balance of mystery and humour. It’s not an easy brief to pull off but I think the cover is so intriguing it would be simply impossible not to pick the book up.

How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?

Insta: @by_nick_long

Website: bynicklong.com

It’s available at all major bookstores in Australia and I’ll be promoting it by visiting quite a few of them, along with as many schools as I can fit in.

OTHER information or experiences you’d like to share?

This book is the first of a series, and I’m deep into writing the third book right now. I can promise you it only gets more exciting, mysterious and ridiculous!

Thanks again, Nick! Can’t wait to jump into the next instalment! 🙂

#thequicksixinterview #thefordbiddenjournalofrufussumble #worstspacecrewever #humour #juniorfiction #justkidslit

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