Wednesday, October 9, 2013

10 Questions with 11-year-old Author H.G. Sansostri (@HGSansostri)

This Author Spotlight

H.G. Sansostri

author of

The Little Dudes' Skool Survival Guide

This week's interview features a debut author:

H.G. Sansostri.

Harrison (Harri) is an 11 year-old-boy who likes to read and write in his spare time. He has written two books to date: The Little Dudes' Skool Survival Guide and W.C.P. (War Changes People).

He is also an accomplished child actor having appeared in film, commercials and West End Theatre (Lord of The Flies). He played 'Lenny Darwin' in Creation (Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly's youngest son) directed by Jon Amiel.

He hopes to study law and become an Entertainments Lawyer and study English and history at a University in London, enabling him to continue his acting and writing career.

What doesn't he like...? Brussel sprouts and Kit Kat bars. What does he like...? Chocolate and chips : )

1.How did you get into writing and why do you write?
Well, when I was ten I really wanted to write a book. More fiction than non-fiction but I found myself sort of writing about my school life and all its ups and downs, though a lot of downs for me, so I then became my book character 'Ethan' trying to cope and sort out my 'bad days.’ I then decided to lighten up the book’s mood with my second character 'Billy' who I thought could introduce some fun and games. We became quite 'A comedy Duo.' We laughed, we fought and we found solutions together! (Billy's character is based on my cousin, with whom I laugh and I fight but we are real good mates.)

Most evenings I just tapped away at my iPad and my mum saw my work and didn't tell me, but she kept emailing each chapter to her laptop when I was at school (as to not lose my work). She then decided to show a few people who showed interest for my book and that's how I started to write.

2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
What I have never liked about writing is all the plotting and planning of the characters. I have always believed that if you just let your mind and fingers do the writing and let your ideas flow, your story flows too (obviously with some back editing)!

Ps I'm still not sure about my punctuation and brackets, but will improve on that one!

What I love about writing is that there is no end to it! Sounds odd, but you have so much freedom to express yourself and literally escape through your book. My book was really therapeutic for me!

3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
I never force myself to write, because then it won't be natural and coming from my mind. I only ever start to tap away at the iPad if I feel inspired and have a fresh idea in my head.

4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”

Number one has to be Mark Haddon, he is the 'Ultimate Author' to me. I've read two of his books and just love the way he uses descriptives throughout his work.

Susanne Collins does come a close second though, as The Hunger Games are amazing, a must-read if you haven't read them!

5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
The question mark will be contained in the quotations if it is a question. If it is a passive question then it is on the outside of the quotations?

6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
I do agree with the Oxford Comma, is that not the serial comma? I tend to use a lot of commas and full-stops in my writing to give emphasis and beats (hence the actor!) to my work.

7. What is your book The Little Dudes Skool Survival Guide about and how did it come to fruition?
The Little Dudes Skool Survival Guide came about because at the end of a school day I would think about how I felt alone and a little unhappy, so I wrote my thoughts and feelings on my iPad, through the eyes of a boy called 'Ethan'.

I decided to put it over in a witty way too, including my fictional buddy 'Billy' who just messes up all the time!

This book talks about school life, bullying and friendship, and what I have observed in school (from the playground bench), 'The Packs'… well, you need to read it basically!!!

There were so many problems, I had to write them down to show Mum... Eventually, I thought it would be a good idea to turn all my notes into a book. Not a boring book though! I decided to add a little comedy to lighten it up and I introduced my two main characters; Billy and Ethan. Amongst the advice we gave out, I wrote in jokes and fights between the two characters and lots of quizzes.

8. What’s your current writing project?
My current project is called The Chronicles of Derek Dunstable.

It is based on a sixteen-year old boy who's life gradually keeps becoming more and more unfair. Derek and his three friends need to survive the school year at any cost!

I currently still don't know what will happen in my book, as I write spontaneously (is that spelling right???)

9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Who Could That Be at This Hour? and Breathe. They are written by two amazing authors; Lemony Snicket and Sarah Crossan.

Breathe is an amazing book. Although it does have a slow start, it gradually builds up to a highly suspenseful moment. Revolving around three characters on a treeless planet, they are on the run from the ministry, the corrupt replacement for the government and the founders of the company Breathe which allows the citizens to be given oxygen.

Who Could That Be at This Hour? is an astoundingly brilliant book. It does have the same slow start as Breathe but grows more and more interesting as it moves on. The book is based on two detectives; Thedora and Lemony Snicket. They are given the task to find out who has stolen the great statue of the 'Bombinating Beast.'

They soon begin to realise that the item may not have been stolen after all, not even touched actually! These two books are a must read! (I love exclamation marks and commas.)

10. Who or what inspires your writing?
The people that inspire me the most are:
My Mum, she's always there for me, in everything I do.
Mark Haddon- I aspire to write like him!
Susanne Collins- Her Hunger Games trilogy- astounded me!
Anthony Horowitz- Love the Alex Rider series.
My librarian- She's a nice lady that is always cheery and helps you out if you need a hand and is looking forward to getting a signed copy of my book!

Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
Also what inspires me to write are the children at my school. Observation is key to my book because most of my characters are based on real life children! All the different personalities and looks gave me an endless amount of material to write about. A lot of the stuff in my book happened to me and, as you will see, the ways I solved the bullies with my brain power... ZAP!

Thank you, Ryan.

You're quite welcome, Harri. Your book is a noble endeavor which can certainly help kids all over who are experiencing difficulties at school. Thank you for sharing your work and your story with us. And please visit with us again when your next book is ready!


Are you having hard times at school?

Are your friends not cutting you any slack at all?

Then come and join Ethan and his goofy friend Billy on an adventure into the wilderness of school - more dangerous than a venture into a live volcano!

In order to survive you must adapt or otherwise...KABOOM!

Visit Harri at any of his social media:
Twitter      @HG Sansostri
Facebook  H.G. Sansostri

Be sure to pick up a copy of Harrison's book at the links below:
Amazon UK
Amazon US


  1. Finally got around to reading your interview with the very impressive Harri! Quite astute and well-versed for eleven (although I'm told eleven is the new fifteen, unless you're down under, then twelve is the new fifteen, eleven is the new twelve, and if you're eight? FORGET IT.).

    In all seriousness, great interview and will most definitely be checking out those books. And I know I don't have to say it, but keep on writing "little dude" (as The Simpsons "Otto the Bus Driver" might say). I know you will....and if you ever want to continue with another interview, you are always welcome on my blog (Ryan will tell you how to reach me; don't want to pimp my own site here...this one's too cool).