Author of Tomorrow Oliver Wright
Tragedy and Triumph in Samburu by Oliver Wright (age 11) is shortlisted for the 2020 11 and Under category.
In this story, you will be transported to Kenya, where a brave brother and a heroic sister meet tragedy, and then triumph, in a Samburu village when they chance across a baby elephant orphaned by poachers. They risk their lives to save him and the species they call family.
An Interview with Oliver:
What is your favourite book?
It's very hard to choose, but if I could only choose one, I would say The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict. I also love the HIVE series by Mark Walden.
Who is your favourite author? Or one who has inspired you and why?
My favourite author is Trenton Lee Stewart because of his vast imagination and unimaginable love for riddles and puzzles. I love how he puts those two things in all his books.
What is your favourite subject at school? My favourite subject at school is probably English, especially when we are doing creative writing. I also enjoy DT.
What does ‘adventure writing’ mean to you? Why did you choose to try your hand at an adventure story?
‘Adventure writing’ means to me a gripping story with a healthy dose of adrenalin as well as a good storyline that teaches you something new or takes you to a place you’ve never been before. This is always fun but now while we’re not doing much travel it’s actually very important to have in our lives.
If you could ask an author anything, what would you want to know? I would ask how to get your books to a wide audience.
Who would you consider one of your heroes and why?
There are a lot of people risking their lives right now to save lives and we’ll never hear their names. I’ve always admired the wildlife rangers who do a very dangerous job to protect endangered animals. They often work with little money or support or recognition. When writing this story I read that as many as two rangers a week die in the line of duty.
What is the most adventurous thing you would like to do, or place you would like to visit and why?
The most adventurous thing I would like to is to travel to the bottom of the sea and write a very long poem about what it’s like, and maybe even discover a new species!
Where do you find inspiration for your stories?
Usually my stories come from my imagination and are set in the future. But sometimes they are inspired by real stories, like Tragedy and Triumph in Samburu. It was inspired by news stories in my home country of Kenya, and because I have a friend who is half Samburu, he tells me a lot of things they do, including protecting elephants from poachers.
If you could time travel, where would you go and why? I would go to the time of the dinosaurs because I think they are incredibly interesting animals and I would very much like to see one in real life (preferably a herbivore).
What three words would you use to describe your story?
Gripping, heartbreaking, hopeful.