T. Collins is the author of the new novel for younger teenagers, The Vlogger Diaries. His many other books include the Diary of a Wimpy Vampire and Dorkius Maximus series (written as Tim Collins). He lives in the U.K., near London.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for your latest book, The Vlogger Diaries?
A: Vloggers like Zoella were becoming mainstream celebrities and earning money from YouTube ad revenue and sponsorship, so thousands of others were trying to jump on the bandwagon. It seemed like a good starting point for a humour book. I wanted to do something that used YouTube comments, because I often find them funny, especially the angry ones.
Q: What age group do you think would especially enjoy the book?
A: It’s for younger teenagers, though I hesitate to call it YA, because that seems to have become more of a genre than an age range now. Humorous books for teenagers still seem quite rare, oddly.
Q: What do you think the book says about social media and kids?
A: The main character, Olivia, only gets the success she craves when she’s totally honest. Few adults can resist presenting an idealised version of themselves on social media. It must be even harder for young people who are still trying to work out who they are.
Q: As someone who’s written more than 50 books, do you work on one project at a time, or do you usually have several going at once?
A: I’ve tried writing multiple books at once, but it never really works. I do one at a time, though I’ll often have to switch to edits and proofs as they come in.
If you let yourself switch between books, you may end up with hundreds of opening chapters but nothing finished.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Some new books in the Cosmic Colin series for younger children. It’s a highly-illustrated comedy sci-fi series and the first two books, Sneezy Alien Attack and Stinky Space Race, came out a couple of years ago.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb